Norwest Family Law

Property Settlements

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Property Settlement Explained

What is Property Settlement?

A property settlement or financial settlement divides assets and property, including superannuation, between separated couples. Usually this happens after an agreement is reached through negotiation or mediation. The Family Law Act provides for this to be done and made binding by obtaining consent orders from a Court or by way of a financial agreement being drafted and signed. The Act applies to all couples, married and de facto and is inclusive of same sex couples.

The division of property can be done soon after separation. There is no requirement to be divorced or separated for any length of time. A very good starting point for a person needing a property settlement is to obtain advice on his or her entitlements under the Family Law Act and the different ways property division might occur. This will enable you to make informed decisions throughout the process of formulating a property division proposal, negotiating and reaching an agreement.

In a minority of cases the parties cannot reach an agreement. This is often because one of the parties has an unrealistic expectation or is not motivated to divide property. In those matters proceedings are commenced in Court to break the impasse leading to a negotiated settlement or an adjudication with the Court deciding how property will be divided.

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