Property Settlement is the name given to the process of dividing the assets, liabilities and financial resources of a relationship.
Sometimes the parties will amicably agree as to what items they keep and what they won’t. However, in the instances where the parties cannot agree, the Court has devised a process, whereby with careful evaluation of the property pool, it can be divided in a just and equitable manner.
There is a misconception about assets being divided equally – 50 to 50 – this is not the case and it is determined by many contributing factors such as:
- the amount of the property pool
- financial and non-financial contributions
- the future needs of both parties
- the duration of the relationship
- the income earning capacity of each party as well as the parenting contributions of the parties before and after separation
Should the parties be unable to agree on a property settlement, there are set time requirements wherein they must make an application to the Court in order for the Court to determine the division. For married couples, they have 12 months from the date of their divorce to make the application, whereas de facto couples have 24 months from the date of their final separation. If an application is not made to the Court within these time periods, the parties are required to seek the leave of the Court to make their application, and this leave is not usually granted as a matter of course.
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“Sometimes the parties will amicably agree as to what items they keep and what they won’t. However, in the instances where the parties cannot agree, the Court has devised a process, whereby with careful evaluation of the property pool, it can be divided in a just and equitable manner.”
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