Navigating the Post-Separation Landscape: Importance of Formalizing Property Settlement

by LukeAdmin

By Georgia Spencer

The breakdown of a relationship can be an emotionally taxing and confusing time, leaving couples grappling with feelings of disappointment, stress, and even anger. Amongst the difficulties of separating, there are crucial legal matters that demand consideration.

Georgia Spencer, Solicitor at Orbell Family Lawyers (located in Erina), takes a deep dive into the importance of getting your affairs in order as soon as possible and documenting your property settlement.

Love, they say, can move mountains, but when love fades and a relationship crumbles, the aftermath can be tumultuous. Amidst the emotional whirlwind of separation, it’s easy to overlook the practical steps that ensure a stable future. Formalising your property settlement after separation is a crucial step in ensuring you and your children have stability and certainty for the years to come.

FACT: A verbal or simple written agreement is not legally binding, no matter how amicable you and your ex are. Ensuring you formalise your property settlement with what is known as ‘Consent Orders’ is essential to protect your future.

Let’s explore five reasons why this important step can pave the way towards a secure future:

Certainty
In the tangle of post–separation life, a beacon of certainty can guide you through your darkest hours. Formalising your property settlement with a Financial Agreement or Consent Orders offers that very beacon. These documents ensure that your former spouse can no longer raise future claims against you, granting you peace of mind and a clear path to embrace your new chapter, without any doubt or worry about the past.

Asset Protection
Picture your hard–earned assets as delicate petals on a breeze; without proper protection, they may scatter to the wind. It’s crucial to be aware that oral or written agreements, regardless of sincerity, lack the legal fortitude to shield your assets. Whether it’s an inheritance, a new property, or even a life–changing lottery win, without formalising your property settlement, your ex–spouse may seek these be added into the assets to be divided between you. It is incredibly important to finalise your settlement to safeguard your assets and your future.

Enforceability
Formalising your agreement empowers you to hold your former spouse accountable. An ironclad settlement, backed by the Court, grants you the authority to enforce the agreed–upon terms should your ex–partner falter. A legal document ensures that justice is upheld, and your interests are protected.

Transfer Exemptions
In the realm of property division, a saving grace awaits those who seek the path of formalisation. By having a Financial Agreement or Consent Orders in place, the transfer between spouses of Real Property (think the matrimonial home), as well as motor vehicles, becomes exempt from stamp duty (or transfer duty). Formalising the property settlement can save you tens of thousands of dollars of stamp duty which would otherwise be payable.

Time Limits
The Family Law Act sets clear time limits for formalising property settlements: one year from divorce for married couples and two years from separation for de facto couples. Delaying this essential step requires seeking the Court’s leave, an elusive favour granted only in rare circumstances. Embrace the present; act promptly and secure your future.

Formalising your property settlement provides with your certainty, security and hope for tomorrow. As you embark on this journey of transformation, remember that protecting your future is an act of self–love and strength, for you and your family.

By formalising your property settlement, you create a solid foundation for your emotional healing and growth. It provides closure and allows you to embark on a new chapter without the burden of unresolved financial matters.

As you navigate the seas of change, seeking professional legal advice from an experienced family lawyer can make the world of difference. A seasoned family lawyer can provide insights tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring that your settlement aligns with your best interests and protects yours and your family’s future.

Beyond the legal aspect, another often–overlooked aspect is revisiting your financial goals post–separation. Adjusting budgets, updating estate plans, and revisiting investment strategies can help solidify your financial future and create a roadmap for the life you envision. Acknowledging that closure is a gradual process can be empowering. Healing emotional wounds takes time and self–compassion, so surround yourself with a supportive network and take small steps towards rebuilding your life.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. The information contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

If you would like further information in regard to this article or your family law matter in general, please contact us.

Mention this article when you call to receive a free 15–minute discovery call with one of our experienced family law solicitors.
Phone: (02) 4314 6080
info@orbellfamilylawyers.com.au
orbellfamilylawyers.com.au

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