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Family Law Property - Know Your Rights

By Andrew O’Bryan

Navigating the legal system after a relationship breakdown to get a property settlement can be a challenge.

To achieve a fair settlement this is what you need to know.

Are there time limits?

The following time limits apply:

For married couples

Applications to a court for a property settlement must generally be made within 12 months of a divorce order becoming final.

For unmarried couples

Applications to a court for a property settlement must generally be made within 2 years of separation.

In some circumstances the Court might grant leave for an application to be issued out of time.

What factors are relevant to how property should be divided?

Relevant matters include:

(a). the assets, liabilities and financial resources of the parties. These need to be worked out so that there is an agreed “net asset pool” for division.

(b). the parties contributions both financial and non-financial made during the relationship and after separation need to be examined.

Financial contributions include for example where one party may have owned a house at the start of the relationship. They may include income, gifts and inheritances.

Non-financial contributions may include a parties role as a home maker, parent or carer.

(c). the circumstances of each party after separation and their on going needs should be looked at. These include:

(i). the age and health of each party.
(ii). whether one party has the care of a child or children of the marriage or relationship.
(iii). the incomes of each party.
(iv). the future employment prospects and any incapacity for work.

These matters can have a significant impact upon how the property is divided.

(d). Whether the settlement in all the circumstances is a “fair” outcome.

What about Superannuation?

Superannuation interests of parties can and are often divided.

It is common in relationships of more than 10 years for superannuation interests to be equally split.

Do I have to go to Court?

The answer is no.

In a lot of cases it is possible to achieve a prompt, fair, final and binding property settlement which is recorded and signed off in a Financial Agreement.

The focus should always be on a achieving a quick, practical and fair out of court settlement.

What if I have to go to Court?

You should only go to court if a “fair” property settlement by negotiation is not possible.

Going to Court usually promotes and compels a sensible negotiation and settlement of Family Law Property.

How long will it take to resolve my claim?

If Court action is not required the process to settle you Family Law property is usually less than 6 months.

The time frame if Court action is required is usually 6-12 months.

What will it cost?

The cost to resolve Family Law property disputes vary depending on complexity and case circumstances.

The focus of your lawyer must be on giving strategic advice and achieving a prompt settlement at least cost to you by the use of strong negotiating skills.

Get Advice now

What you need is a “fair” settlement of your Family Law property.

To figure this out consult us now.

We offer free phone/ first consultation advice.
Our fee rates are reasonable and in many cases we act on a “deferred fee basis” in accordance with a Costs Agreement meaning you do not have to pay legal fees up front. They would be paid on case resolution.

Galbally & O’Bryan is one of Victoria’s leading Family Law property lawyers.

Partner Andrew O’Bryan and Senior Associates, Elizabeth Gray and Carl Wilson are expert Family Law lawyers.

andrew-o-bryan

Andrew O’Bryan

elizabeth_gray

Elizabeth Gray

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Carl Wilson

Andrew, Elizabeth and Carl will review your case and provide clear, easy to follow advice and take action to give you the best possible outcome.

How to contact our Melbourne Office

Melbourne Office
259 William Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9200 2533
F: (03) 9600 3135
E: enquiries@galballyobryan.com.au

Andrew O’Bryan
Partner
Galbally & O’Bryan Lawyers
259 William Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9200 2533
M: 0400 469 704
F: (03) 9600 3135
E: aobryan@galballyobryan.com.au

Elizabeth Gray
Senior Associate
Galbally & O’Bryan Lawyers
259 William Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9200 2533
F: (03) 9600 3135
E: egray@galballyobryan.com.au

Carl Wilson
Senior Associate
Galbally & O’Bryan Lawyers
259 William Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9200 2533
F: (03) 9600 3135
E: cwilson@galballyobryan.com.au