One of the most important, and perhaps the most difficult, issue facing couples who separate is the question of ‘who gets what?’ The Family Law Act provides for property settlements same sex couples. Most property settlements are dealt with by the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court.
The laws relating to property settlement at the end of a same sex couple relationship have recently changed. For relationships that have broken down since 1 March 2009, the Court now deals with all of the legal aspects of the separation, including any parenting agreement, property settlement and maintenance. As a result, parties to relationships that have broken down after 1 March 2009 may have more extensive entitlements than they would have had under state law.
Depending on the length and dynamic of the relationship, as well as the way that the parties have arranged their finances, a property settlement can be quite simple or involve complex negotiations.
Both financial and non-financial contributions are taken into account when determining de facto property division. The new changes to de facto laws now allow for future needs and superannuation splitting arrangements to be considered as well. The Court will consider the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party and divide the property in a manner that is just and equitable.
Strict time limits apply to commencing property settlement proceedings in a Court. You must apply for a Court Order within two years from the date your same sex couple relationship ends. It is important that you seek proper legal advice as soon as possible.
The lawyers at Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Melbourne understand the difficulties involved and the unique nature of individual relationships. We have extensive experience negotiating property settlements for couples who have a substantial asset pool, such as a major property/share portfolio or a family business. We understand both the emotional and the commercial implications of splitting assets. We are committed to ensuring a fair settlement is achieved as quickly as possible, we aim to reduce the time taken and therefore the cost to you.
Mathews Family Law is a leading Australian family law firm. Please contact us on +61 3 9804 7991 to speak with our family and divorce lawyers today. You can also send through your enquiry online now and we will contact you shortly.