Factors To Consider In Property Settlements | FEDOROV
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Property Settlements

Factors To Consider In Property Settlements

When it comes to property settlements, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure appropriate division. Fedorov Family Lawyers has the knowledge and experience to assist you throughout your property settlement. However, even before your first consultation, it is a good idea to be prepared and to familiarise yourself with the process to ensure the matter is resolved as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Time Limitations

Time is a significant factor in property settlements. If you were married, filing for property settlement within 12 months of your divorce being finalised is important. Those in de-facto relationships are required to file for property settlement within 24 months of separation. Failing to file within these time periods means that you will need to apply for leave from the Court to file a late application with the risk that it will not be granted.

Initial Financial Contributions

During a property settlement, the Court will look at the assets and liabilities each person contributed to the relationship, including savings, real property, superannuation and motor vehicles. The Court may decide to adjust the settlement to favour one party if they are proven to have made a significantly larger financial contribution.

Assets, Liabilities & Financial Resources

Both parties will be expected to disclose their joint and individual assets, liabilities and financial resources to determine the size of the property pool. Keep in mind how much each of your assets is worth, as well as the liabilities you may be subjected to.

Direct Financial Contributions

The Court will look at how much of a direct financial contribution each party made to the property pool over the course of the relationship. These can vary and include contributions such as rent, mortgage payments, renovations, groceries, general living expenses, property purchases, inheritances and windfalls.

Non-Financial Contributions

Non-financial contributions to the property pool are an equally important factor in property settlements. The Court looks at the role of each party in domestic contributions, including childcare, housekeeping and home-making. Time spent maintaining the home, carrying out renovations, and any sacrifices one party has made to support the other will also be considered. In cases where children are involved, one party taking on the role of primary caregiver will be given significant consideration.

Section 75(2) Factors

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) sets out several further factors that the Court may consider when determining if an adjustment of the property settlement should be made in one of the parties’ favours. The factors considered most often include:

  • The age and state of health of the parties;
    • g. If one of the parties is significantly older than the other or is experiencing health difficulties that may affect their future earning capacity.
  • Income, Property and Financial Resources of the parties;
    • g. If there is a significant disparity between your incomes; if one of you has access to financial resources that the other doesn’t.
  • Whether either party has the care or control of a child of the relationship who is under 18.

Disclosure

Each party will be required to exchange all of the documents relevant to the property settlements. They will be expected to be open and honest in their disclosure of their financial position, as required under Schedule 1 of the Family Law Rules 2004.

Before beginning the property settlement process, it is a good idea to start gathering any documents that may be relevant. This includes pay slips, tax returns, asset valuations and superannuation statements.

Alternate Dispute Resolution

It is possible that the two parties will not be able to find a resolution through negotiation. If this occurs, various alternate dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration, must be attempted before the matter can proceed to the Family Court of Australia for final determination.

Property settlements can be a complex, challenging and emotional process. Working with a reliable and experienced family lawyer can help ensure your property is appropriately divided with as little stress as possible. With Fedorov Family Lawyers, we make the process of working out your property settlement as easy as possible. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can assist you.