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Property Settlement

When either a marriage or de facto relationship has ended, it is necessary to determine how to divide  those assets and financial resources.  The term commonly used for this is ‘property settlement’.   The Family Law Act 1975 covers matters relating to property settlements for married couples and de-facto couples.

There are a time limits within which to complete a property settlement.  For married couples a limitation period of 12 months commences from the date of divorce.  For de facto couples, the limitation period is 2 years from the date of separation.

“Property” includes all assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources that the parties have an interest in whether it be in joint names, their respective sole names, via corporate entities and trusts, and whether those interests exist in Australia and/or overseas.

The process used to determine a division of property involves four steps:


  1. Identify and value the assets and liabilities of both parties;

  2. Consider the contributions, both financial and non-financial, each party has made to the relationship;

  3. Consider the future needs of each of the parties; and

  4. Make an order that is just and equitable.

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