FAMILY LAW PROPERTY SETTLEMENT ‘PEARLS OF WISDOM’
- ‘Separation’ occurs when one or both people form the intention to sever the relationship, act on that intention and communicate that intention directly or indirectly via words or conduct.
- ‘Separation’ is different to divorce. Separation is the end of the relationship. Divorce is the termination of a marriage by Order of a Court, and can only occur when parties have been separated for 1 year and 1 day.
- A Family Law ‘Property Settlement’ is different to both separation and divorce in that it is the term used to describe the dividing of the assets, debts and superannuation entitlements of people who were once in a relationship.
- A Family Law Property Settlement can be effected at any time after separation occurs.
- A legally binding Family Law Property Settlement can only be effected via a ‘Consent Order’ or ‘Binding Financial Agreement’. If an informal (e.g. verbal) settlement is done, the other party might try to have a second bite at the cherry.
- In most cases, a ‘de facto relationship’ must have lasted for at least two years, or have produced a child, before family law property settlement Orders can be sought from the Court (there are a couple of other ways people in de facto relationships can be entitled to seek property settlement Orders – let us know if you’d like more info).
- Parties who were married have 1 year from the date of divorce to seek property settlement Orders from the Court. Parties who were in a de facto relationship have 2 years from the date of separation to seek property settlement Orders from the Court. Orders can be sought after those timeframes, but only with the Court’s permission.
This article was written by Townsville family lawyer, Kyle Barram on 23 June 2016.