Property Settlement Lawyers
Expert Legal Assistance for Division of Property
At Greigs Legal, our experienced Property Settlements Lawyers understand the emotional and financial challenges that come with separation. You may have to face the challenge of becoming financially independent and dividing your assets and liabilities with your former partner. This is commonly referred to as a property settlement.
While the general rule is that the division of assets be just and equitable, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. As such, reaching an agreement with your former partner can be challenging and complex. In general, the term 'property' refers to anything that has value, such as the matrimonial home, investment properties, motor vehicles, shares, furnishings, and superannuation. Our experienced Property Settlements Lawyers at Greigs Legal can provide expert guidance and support throughout the process of asset division, ensuring a fair outcome in your property settlement case.
Asserting Your Rights
Securing a Fair Share of Property After Relationship Breakdown
Following the breakdown of your relationship, you have the right to claim a fair share of the property that you both owned during the relationship. This applies whether you were married or in a de facto relationship, and regardless of whose name the property is in or how much income you earned.
To determine how much you are entitled to, we will need to assess your individual circumstances and apply the relevant legal principles. We ensure that we will always listen to your needs and ask the relevant questions so that we can advise you on the best course of action.
Do I need to go to Court?
Depending on your situation, you may be apple to settle your property/financial matters by:
- An informal agreement between you and your partner, which is not legally binding but may be suitable for some couples.
- A formal agreement, such as Consent Orders or a Financial Agreement, which is legally binding and enforceable by the court, and can provide you with certainty and finality.
- A court order, which is the last resort if you cannot reach an agreement with your former partner. This involves commencing proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
In cases where the parties cannot agree on how to divide their property, or they need to act quickly due to an urgent situation, they may need to apply to the court to have the matter heard before a Registrar or Judge.
However, prior to commencing court proceedings, save for urgent cases, all avenues of dispute resolution must be explored. It is a requirement for parties to make genuine attempts to settle the matter out of court. This involves participating in dispute resolution, negotiations between the parties or their lawyers, and complying with the duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure. If an agreement cannot be reached, or the other party has failed to participate in out of court settlement discussions, then you must provide the other party with written notice of your intention to commence court proceedings.
Understanding Property Entitlements
When assessing your property entitlements, the court adopts the following four step methodology:
- Determining the asset pool by identifying the assets, liabilities and financial resources of both parties.
- Identifying the contributions of both parties to the relationship and the property.
- Identifying and assessing the future needs and determine an adjustment to the contribution entitlements. This allows the court to adjust the percentage division of either party based on factors such as age, health, income, earning capacity etc.
- Consider the above and determine an outcome that is just and equitable for both parties.
The Duty to Provide Full and Frank Disclosure
In financial disputes, each party has a duty to provide full and frank disclosure. That is, you and your former partner must share all the relevant information about your financial situation with each other. This way, you can both make informed decisions about how to divide your assets and liabilities. The legal obligation to disclose is ongoing and some examples of documents required to be disclosed include:
- Your tax returns and notice of assessment
- Superannuation statements
- Bank account statements
- Credit card statements
- Mortgage account and/or loan statements
- Business activity statements
Simplifying Financial Disclosure
Expert Guidance in Document Collation
Collating financial disclosure can be overwhelming. Our property lawyers will explain what documents are required to be produced. When reviewing the other party’s disclosure documents, we assure you every document will be meticulously examined, ensuring that we can determine the true value of the asset pool.
At Greigs Legal we do not cut corners to achieve a mediocre settlement in order to move on to the next case. We strive for excellence in every case we handle, offering you high-quality service, and timely advice tailored to your needs.
Our family lawyers attempt to resolve matters amicably and efficiently through negotiation and mediation, but we also know that this is not always possible. We understand that sometimes litigation is unavoidable and when that happens, you can trust Greigs Legal to stand by your side and defend your rights.
Contact one of our experienced property settlements lawyer today for personalized assistance. Whether you are in Gregory Hills, Picton, Marrickville, Kogarah, or anywhere in the Sydney area, our team is ready to provide you with the professional guidance and support you need.