What is a property settlement?

A property settlement is a final agreement between parties after the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship that outlines the division of the assets and liabilities held by the parties.

There are time limits in place for property settlement including (generally);

  1. If you were married and have divorced, you have 12 months from the time the divorce order is made to file/make a property settlement.
  2. If you were in a de facto relationship, you have 2 years from the date of separation to file/make a property settlement.

If you do not apply within these time frames, you will need to apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for an extension of time. This is not always granted.

Consent orders are a written agreement between you and your ex-partner which outlines the agreement as to property settlement.

A financial agreement is a document that outlines exactly hoe the property is to be divided between you and your ex-partner. A financial agreement (also known as a BFA) can be made before, during or at the end of your relationship or marriage. A financial agreement is not filed with the court, however both you and your ex-partner must obtain independent legal advice before making/entering into a financial agreement.

For couples that have recently separated, either married or in a de facto relationship (conditions apply for de facto couples), you may be looking to move forward with your property settlement as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Married couples or de facto couples (some conditions apply) should seek legal advice as to their entitlements under the Family Law Act (1975) for property settlement.

Smaller asset pools

For many couples, assets pools of under $500,000 are common. That might include the family home with a mortgage, vehicles, superannuation, some savings and household furniture. Property settlement does not have to be difficult or costly.

Sometimes separated couples have already come to an agreement and simply need the agreement to be reflected by way of consent orders or a binding financial agreement. “Property” does not just mean land or a house. It also means anything you own, either solely or jointly.

How is property dealt with?

To provide some basic guidance as to how property and liabilities are divided between you and your ex-partner, there are four (4) steps that need to determined, (and usually adopted by the Family Court):-

  1. Determine the value of all of the assets, liabilities, and financial resources of you and your ex-partner. These can be things you own or owe jointly or solely. Assets include you and your partners’ superannuation entitlements.
  2. Determine the contributions made by you and your ex-partner including, financial and non-financial.
  3. Determine the future needs of you and your ex-partner and identify any necessary based contributions made in part 2.
  4. The final step is to consider the effect of the above to achieve an outcome and overall property adjustment that is just and equitable for both parties.


For any property settlement advices, contact Bale Boshev Lawyers on (02) 49691522.

Talk to one of our lawyers today, and let us fight for you.