Divorces can be stressful enough without the added trouble of sucessfully processing a property settlement. Here is a guide you can use en route to seeking legal advice on accomplishing a property settlement under Australia's Family Law Act.
Couples have two ways of arriving at a property settlement: through an out-of-court mutual agreement, subject to court approval or by going through a court mediation. The property settlement is executed like a contract between the parties involved and can be enforced by court order or modified through appeal. Property settlements for domestic partners are governed by each state and territory's particular laws.
Here are some general guidelines for divorce property settlements:
*The definition of property has expanded in recent years. This can include:
* houses and real estate
* personal vehicles
* paintings, antiques, artworks
* personal effects and jewellery
* stamp collections
* bank account balances
* shares and liabilities
* business interests
* insurance policies
* superannuation interests
*Anyone of the couple can start property settlement proceedings as soon as divorce applications are underway or within 12 months after the divorce order comes into effect. Beyond twelve months, the courts may say you've broke the deadline, and can consider only for special circumstances.
*Four questions need to be answered during a property settlement proceeding:
1. How to divide assets between two (ex-) legal partners
2. How to split supperannuation
3. Whether and how to provide financial support for the ex-spouse
4. Most importantly, how to arrange for the financial support of the children