Division of Property
(Matrimonial/De Facto)

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A divorce will not automatically solve issues relating to property or shared assets. When parties separate after a relationship of many years, the law requires a fair and equitable division of the various assets they have accumulated.

Whether a couple has accumulated an asset pool of tens of millions of dollars or a few several hundred thousand dollars, it represents what the parties have worked hard sometime over many years to obtain, and on which they might rely for their future financial wellbeing.

Divorce and Separation

By definition, divorce is the process of legally dissolving a marriage, but it can often mean something different to clients than it does to lawyers.

For a client seeking to terminate the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, the expectations of divorce can include everything from division of property to determining care arrangements for children.

For lawyers, divorce means dissolution of marriage only, and this is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive procedure. Our solicitors can assist with the preparation and filing of your Application for Divorce if the marriage has irretrievably broken down where the parties separated more than 12 months prior to the application being filed.

What is the method the court uses to divide property between separated couples?

No person wishes to see their hard-earned property be diminished as it is split with a former partner. Section 79 of the Family Law Act 1975 provides a very well-established procedure and set of principles which are used to determine:

  • What constitutes the asset pool for division between the parties;
  • How to assess the contributions by each of the parties to that asset pool;
  • What adjustments must be made to the assessment of contributions, based on the parties’ future needs;
  • Whether it is just and equitable to make an order for division (Section 75(2))

What are some common issues I may encounter along the way?

During the process of working through the above questions to resolve a financial dispute, parties may encounter any of the following challenges:

  • Whether a business should be valued and if so, how
  • How to determine if property is being hidden by one party and if so how to ensure that property is included within the asset pool
  • Whether any injunctions need to be issued by the court to protect property from being dissipated or removed from the asset pool
  • How mortgage payments need to be paid until the matter has been finalised
  • Which party can or should remain living in the matrimonial home until the parties have reached a final agreement, or until trial
  • How to assess the health concerns of either party, and whether that party should receive more of the asset pool as a result of any health challenges;
  • How to determine a party’s true earning potential if that party chooses to work less hours, when they are able to work more
  • Whether the home should be transferred from one party to the other, or if it should be sold

These, and many more, are common issues arise as a matter progresses towards a resolution. The sooner these issues are identified and resolved, the sooner the entire matter can progress towards settlement.

Our solicitors have years of experience in dealing with these challenges, and they will be able to provide you with the insight and guidance you need to move forward.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Before a divorce in Sydney is formally granted by the court, it typically takes upto four months. This period is computed from the day your court petition was initially submitted until the day the court issues a divorce order.

If for some of that 12-month period you have lived together with your spouse, then you may still get divorced depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you have been living together for all or part of that time, then you can make the application on the basis that you have been ‘separated under one roof’.

In these circumstances the 12-month period will still be valid even though you and your spouse have been living together. We can advise whether your circumstances could properly be described as ‘separation under one roof’.

You may also have a trial reconciliation within that 12-month period which, although not included as part of the 12-month separation, will not restart the clock if the reconciliation is less than three months.

The Family Court of Western Australia has provided an online divorce kit which explains how to obtain a divorce order, and this includes information on how to make a divorce application.

For a comprehensive discussion on how to prepare your divorce application, please give our office a call. Our solicitors can also assist with the process of determining care arrangements for children and facilitating the division of property.

You must be separated from your spouse for at least 12 months before filing for divorce, and either you or your spouse must meet the following requirements: be an Australian citizen; reside in Australia and consider it your permanent home, or ordinarily live in Australia for at least 12 months prior to filing.

  • Marriage certificate
  • Certificate of Name Change
  • Certificate of Counseling.
  • A passport or citizenship certificate are two examples of documents used as proof of citizenship.
  • Visa Documents

The divorce lawyer cost & the divorce processing time are dependent on many factors. Check with Meredith Lawyers to know more

Through the Commonwealth Courts Portal, you can fill out the divorce application form. Get in touch with top divorce lawyers in Sydney at Meredith lawyers. We have expertise over all areas of divorce such as separation, child custody, child support, property and financial services & more.

If you and your ex-spouse received a divorce order outside of Australia, it will be honored there as long as it was given in line with the local laws of the nation where the divorce was granted. In Australia, you do not have to file for divorce.

Your divorce order becomes final one month after your divorce hearing date. Your marriage is officially over once your divorce decree is final, and you are free to remarry. The one-month window may be cut short by the Court.

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