A property settlement is the legal process of dividing and distributing the assets and liabilities that have been accumulated during a relationship. Assets may include shares, family trusts, companies, superannuation, businesses, real estate, motor vehicles, boats, personal items, and household effects including furniture. Liabilities include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and other loans. The net assets of the relationship are determined by calculating the total gross assets less liabilities. Both parties are under an ongoing obligation to make full and frank disclosure of their full financial circumstances. As part of the property settlement process, urgent living arrangements and arrangements for financial support pending settlement can be addressed.
The property settlement process involves a consideration of the financial and non-financial contributions (including homemaker and parenting responsibilities) of the parties. In many cases the non-financial contributions may be considered to be equal to the financial contributions. After the contributions are assessed, the current and future needs of each party are taken into consideration. Factors include the age and health of each party, their income and earning capacity, their financial resources, their carer responsibilities and other factors.
During a divorce or separation, there is often the question of how assets and property should be distributed. For most people this is a confusing area of the law and one that requires the help of a professional with expert knowledge and experience.
The property settlement agreement may be formalised by way of a Consent Order or a Binding Financial Agreement. Many property settlements can be settled out of court by way of negotiation or mediation.
In this often painful and disruptive time you can count on our experience and compassionate team for the right legal advice and support. Our job is to help you through the legal process of a property settlement in a way that is just and equitable to both parties.