The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court have jurisdiction to deal with the property of de facto couples who have separated. Separated couples however may not be sure whether they are ‘entitled’ to a property settlement, depending on whether or not they were living with their former partner.
So, you may ask, what is the difference between a de facto couple, as compared to a couple who has been dating?
People going through a separation are understandably under a lot of pressure; often financially and emotionally. It may seem tempting to reach out to others on social media for support or validation but there can be serious repercussions and unexpected consequences of doing so.
Things to remember...
There are many advantages of obtaining independent legal advice from a family lawyer. Most importantly, you will find out whether an agreement reached between you and your former partner is appropriate, based on your individual circumstances. There are also many practical benefits to obtaining legal advice following separation which you should take into account, including:
Separated couples negotiating a property settlement have obligations to provide complete disclosure of their financial circumstances.
The duty is not only to your former partner, but the duty also extends to the Court itself. Pursuant to Rule 13.04 of the Family Law Rules and Rule 24.03 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules, parties must make full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances.
Consent Orders or Binding Financial Agreement: Which is the best way to formalise my property settlement?
If you want to enter into a property settlement, you need to understand the options available to you and make informed decisions.
The Full Court of the Family Court has adopted an approach which is applied during Court proceedings involving property matters. Lawyers giving advice about reasonable outcomes in a property matter use this process as a guide to advise clients about what they are entitled to.
The treatment of an inheritance can have a significant impact on negotiating a property settlement with a former partner.
Much depends on whether you have already received the inheritance or whether you are expecting to receive a future inheritance
Formalising a property settlement servers your financial ties and will prevent your former spouse from seeking an adjustment of property interests between you. If you have not entered into a formal property settlement, your former spouse may have a claim on your assets.