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In the Family Court of Australia, parties intending to apply for financial orders must first attend dispute resolution before filing an application. The application can then be filed any time after separation but should be filed within 12 months of a divorce.
Yes. During the period of separation, you may complete the property settlement before getting a divorce. You will need to sort out how to divide your assets and debts. This can be done via an agreement between yourself and your former spouse and will require that each party provide disclosure of their financial circumstances, as well as having any significant assets valued (such as a business).
If you agree on arrangements, you can seek to formalise your arrangements by contacting our firm at Mornington Family Lawyers to draft your Consent Orders. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can engage our lawyers at Mornington Family Lawyers to apply to the Court for Financial Orders.
Despite popular opinion, there is no presumption that property should be divided 50/50. The Family Law Act 1975 sets out factors that must be taken into account when a judge is deciding on how property is to be divided. The Court will consider whether it is ‘just and equitable’ to make an order for an adjustment of property.
In dividing the assets of the marriage, the Court will consider:
You may organise your family law property settlement as soon as you want after separation. A minimum period does not apply. However, due to the emotional aspect of the matter, you may choose to allow a short period of time to elapse before properly considering property division. However, a maximum time limit does apply. An application to the Court for property settlement must be filed within 1 year of a Divorce becoming “absolute” for married couples or 2 years of separation for de facto couples (as per the Family Law Act). These time limits apply across all States and Territories throughout Australia.