How to formalise a property settlement agreement
So your relationship didn’t work out. Now you need to work through what that means for your property. Talking things through with your former spouse is a good start. But we would always recommend getting legal advice so you don’t end up with an unfair deal. Any agreement reached should be properly documented by way of Consent Orders made by the Family Court with the agreement of the parties or alternatively by way of a Binding Financial Agreement.
There are certain procedural requirements to be followed to document any property settlement agreement and we always recommend that you should seek professional advice and assistance. We have seen too many cases of a party to a marriage or a defacto relationship “changing their mind” and seeking to re-instigate property settlement claims well after a marriage or relationship has ended, notwithstanding the terms of any informal settlement agreement previously reached. Seek legal advice early.
The process to formalise property settlement by consent order
To have orders as to property settlement made by consent in the Family Court of Australia (you will not actually have to go to Court) both parties will need to complete an Application for Consent Ordersas well as signing some prepared Consent Orders. We recommend that the orders be prepared by a solicitor practising in the are of family law as the terms need to accurately reflect your agreement and must allow for certain events occurring in the future.
The Application for Consent Orders forms require substantial details as to the personal circumstances of each party and also require full disclosure of each parties’ assets, liabilities and financial resources and details of any assets acquired or disposed of by either party since separation.
The application also includes details as to arrangements for any minor children of the marriage or relationship as well as details from each of the parties as to their respective financial and non- financial contributions to the assets and contributions to the marriage or relationship as homemaker.
It is imperative that all assets and liabilities and financial resources are properly disclosed in any consent application. Any undisclosed assets that are later discovered can result in a Court setting orders aside meaning that settlement will need to be revisited. That will increase costs and anxiety for all concerned.
Speak to one of the trusted lawyers at Donlan today for expert advice on your property settlement and we can guide you through the process.