Perth Property Settlement and Financial Matters

August 12, 2014 – at 3:41 am – by Bodekers Family Lawyers
Perth Property Settlement

Perth Property Settlement and Financial Matters

Property and financial settlements involve the division of assets and liabilities. They are also referred to as financial matters. Property, under the law, includes many things, not just property. Property includes:

  1. the family business;
  2. a trust;
  3. investments;
  4. an entitlement;
  5. superannuation;
  6. a pension entitlement;
  7. the money you owe and;
  8. any other liabilities of the relationship.

Superannuation is part of settlements. However, it is not always treated the same as other property.

Property settlement is something many people need to think about. This is especially true following separation. It can affect either married or de facto couples. You need to think about how you and your partner will resolve these issues. This may require obtaining an order from the Family Court.

A financial relationship between couples exists after separation. This relationship exists until an order is made by the courts. This happens either through agreement or through the court process.

The court will consider a range of factors when making a decision.

This is not family law advice. You should seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.

Perth Property Settlement – Entitlement to Settlement

You have an entitlement to a property settlement agreement if you are from a marriage or a de facto relationship.

Regarding marriages – the definition is self-explanatory. De facto relationships are a little more complicated. The general definition of a de facto relationship in Australia is when two partners are living (or have lived) together on a “genuine domestic basis”.

If you aren’t sure whether you are in a de facto relationship, look at our de facto relationships page.

Perth Property Settlement – Important Settlement Dates

You can finalise a property settlement agreement as soon as you have decided to separate. For more information on what is considered separation. Please see our separation page.

The Family Law Act imposes the following deadlines:

  1. If you are married;
    1. You have 12 months after your divorce to make an application for your property settlement.
  2. If you are in a de facto relationship;
    1. You have 24 months from the date of separation finalise your property settlement.

Perth Property Settlement – Dividing Property

All property gets included for consideration after separation. It is important that you divide your property according to the law. If you do not and your former partner pursues this, it could cause you issues.

Property settlement is not simply about what you own. It also considers what you have contributed. The role you had and what you contributed is an important part of the equation. What each party will need in the future gets considered. Children, age, health and earning capacity all play a part.

It is important you are honest in this process. This means telling the truth about what you own. This is called ‘full and frank disclosure. You could end up transferring a lot more if you are not.You should not seek to shrink the asset pool. This includes spending large sums of money or destroying property. This can backfire and get deducted from what you receive.

This is not family law advice. You should seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.

Perth Property Settlement – Steps Taken to Divide Assets

In Australian family law, there is usually a four-step process. It involves asking:

  1. What are the assets and liabilities?
  2. Which Contributions did each party make?
  3. What Are the “future needs” of each party?
  4. Is the division “just and equitable”?

It is important to remember that not all cases are the same. Different situations lead to different outcomes.

This is not family law advice. You should seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.

Perth Property Settlement – Protecting Assets

Sometimes your former partner may try and get rid of assets. They may do this to try and limit the size of the asset pool. If you think your former partner may get rid of assets. You can ask the Family Court for an injunction. An injunction will stop them selling or dealing any of the property.

If you believe you need an injunction you should seek family law advice.

Perth Property Settlement – Finding Assets

Under family Law, all parties must disclose their finances. The disclosure must be ‘full and frank’. There are penalties for not properly disclosing your finances.  The types of disclosure documents include:

  1. Tax returns and notices of assessment;
  2. Bank account and credit card statements;
  3. Market appraisals or valuations for property;
  4. Settlement statements for the purchase or sale of property;
  5. Business tax returns, financial reports and the like;
  6. Superannuation member statements;
  7. Payslips and employment contracts;
  8. Redbook valuations (for motor vehicles) and;
  9. Shareholding statements.

Perth Property Settlement – Bodekers Family Lawyers

At Bodekers Family Lawyers & Mediators we pride ourselves on providing quality legal advice. We can help to ensure property settlements are in your best interests.

We understand what it is like to separate and the challenges surrounding post-separation property settlement.

When to contact us

If you are facing issues concerning property settlement, you should seek legal advice.

Property settlement can be very complex. We recommend you seek legal advice from our Legal Practitioner Director Ms Shannon Bodeker. Ms Bodeker has worked in family law in Perth for over 18 years.

Contact Bodekers by phone (08) 9323 7711) or email shannon@bodekers.com.au for your free pre-read and first appointment at a reduced flat rate.

Prior to your first appointment, you may send us an email, fax or similar, outlining your situation. You may include as much detail as you like. We read this information on a complimentary basis prior to your first family law appointment. We get to know you and your family law matter before we meet.