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Property settlement

Do I really need one?

Posted: November 15, 2023

I’m going through separation or divorce but “Do I really need a property settlement? What’s at stake, and why is it so important?”

These are common questions that individuals often ponder when they’re navigating the challenging terrain of relationship breakdowns. The short answer is yes, and for the long answer, please read on.


A property settlement isn’t just a legal formality; it’s a critical step in securing your financial future. But why?:

1. Asset division: When a relationship ends, assets accumulated during the partnership need to be divided. This includes property, savings, investments, and other assets. A property settlement ensures a fair and equitable distribution of these assets.
2. Legal protection: Relying on verbal agreements with your ex-partner leaves your assets exposed. A formal property settlement provides legal protection, reducing the risk of future disputes and claims on your assets.
3. Future financial security: A property settlement offers certainty and peace of mind. It outlines your financial responsibilities and rights, ensuring that both parties can move forward with their lives.


Now that we’ve established the need for a property settlement, let’s explore the three main methods to complete one:

1. Consent Orders

Why choose Consent Orders?
• The most common and cost-effective method.
• Provides the court’s approval to ensure fairness.

1. Negotiate an agreement with your ex-partner regarding property division.
2. Formalise the agreement as a consent order obtained from the Federal Circuit & Family Court of Australia.
The court reviews the proposed settlement to ensure it’s “just and equitable.”

2. Binding Financial Agreement (BFA)

Why choose a BFA?
• Offers flexibility in property division.
• No court approval is required.

1. Negotiate an agreement with your ex-partner on property division.
2. Formalise the agreement as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA).
3. Both parties must be legally represented by solicitors.

3. Trial and Final Orders

Why choose a trial?
• A last resort when previous attempts to agree upon property division have failed.

1. If negotiation and BFA options fail, the matter may proceed to trial.

2. A judge will make the final property orders based on evidence presented.
In all cases, it’s essential to seek legal advice, understand your rights, and consider the long-term implications of the settlement. Completing a family law property settlement is an investment in your financial future and ensures that your assets are protected from potential disputes.

So, the answer to “Do I need a property settlement?” is a resounding yes.

It’s a crucial step to secure your financial well-being and ensure a smooth transition to the next phase of your life.

If you have any queries about family law property settlements and your specific circumstances, please contact our office to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.


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