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De Facto Matters

The Family Law Act 1975 empowers the Federal Magistrates Court or the Family Court of Australia to  deal with de facto property settlement matters, including those in same-sex relationships as well as property settlements between married couples.

There are several ways for parties to finalise a property settlement, the most common being by way of a binding financial agreement or consent orders, with consent orders being lodged and approved by the Courts.

Before finalising a property settlement, both the assets and the liabilities of the relationship must be determined and a value ascribed to each item before a division can occur.  There are many things which can be included in the property asset pool and these can include:

  • The family home / investment and other real property held by the parties;
  • Businesses / trusts;
  • Shares / inheritances / gifts;
  • Motor vehicles and other chattels; and
  • Superannuation interests.

In determining the liabilities of the relationship, an assessment will be undertaken of mortgages, personal or other loans, and credit card debts between the parties.  This will give you an idea of the net value of the property pool, and the assets which are divisible between the parties.

It is also important to consider whether you may have an obligation to your partner for spousal maintenance or alternatively, whether you may be entitled to spousal maintenance from your partner.  Spousal maintenance is determined by numerous factors, but it can include payments from one partner to the other to assist with their reasonable living expenses, and it can be paid in regular payments or as a lump sum.

Affinity Family Lawyers can help you with:-

  • Drafting and negotiating Consent Orders
  • Understanding your financial position
  • Dispute resolution and mediation
  • Filing Court applications
  • Court Representation
  • Property transfers
  • Child support applications

Affinity Lawyers friendly family law team on the Gold Coast specialises in these types of matters and can provide you with legal advice in relation to all aspects of your property settlement, including your entitlement to the division of the assets, and the most effective method of finalising the settlement.

There are time frames associated with finalising a property settlement, and these time frames are affected by your separation date and/or divorce.  We recommend that you contact one of our friendly Family Lawyers on 07 5563 8970 to discuss your matter as soon as possible after a separation to ensure that you are aware of the time frames and your options.

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