Divorce and Property Settlement

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When a marriage has irretrievably broken down and parties to the marriage have been separated for 12 months, an application for divorce can be made either by one party to a marriage, or both parties jointly. For the divorce to be granted, the Family Court must be satisfied that the parties have been separated for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the application, and that appropriate arrangements have been made for any children involved. In certain circumstances a divorce can be granted where parties are separated, though living under the same roof or where there have been short periods of reconciliation (totalling less than 3 months out of a 12 month period).

You can apply to the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court for orders for property settlement and this may be done at any time. However, the Family Law Act sets a time restriction of 12 months after your divorce for you to apply for a property settlement.

In some Family Law cases separated parties may negotiate and reach agreement in relation to how they would like to finalise property matters between them, often with the assistance of lawyers. In other cases, separated parties cannot reach agreement and turn to court to resolve their matter. If you can both agree on how to divide your assets, you can ask the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court to make orders by consent. If you do not agree, the Court process may take some time to complete.

Whether you agree or not, the rules governing the division of assets and financial resources are complex, and you should seek legal advice from a lawyer before making a final decision about how they will be divided.

Our family law team have a wealth of experience with the law, court documents and court procedures related to divorce proceedings. We are able to provide you with comprehensive legal advice in relation to the all legal areas associated with separation and divorce, to assist you and your family to move forward.

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