By Wisewould Mahony
March 22, 2016
There are time limits within which parties must finalise their financial arrangements after the breakdown of a relationship if such arrangements are to be binding.
If the parties have been married, an application for property settlement must be filed within 12 months after a divorce order has taken effect. There is provision to file such an application out of time however these steps can be onerous and costly.
A party to a de facto relationship may apply for property settlement only if the application is made within 2 years after the end of the relationship.
There are two options available for property settlements to be finalised and ensure the agreement is legally binding:
There are occasions where both options are exercised together.
The financial asset pool must be valued as at the time negotiations are taking place, not at the time of separation. It is beneficial to settle property matters as property interests may increase or decrease over the passage of time, getting legal advice early is always best especially when the parties have interests in real property, corporate and trust entities, superannuation entitlements and the possibility of and inheritance on the horizon.
The sooner property matters are finalised, the sooner the parties have peace of mind and the ability to move forward with certainty that their property interests are settled and protected.