With the high rate of separation in marriages and de facto relationships, more and more people are facing the prospect of dividing their assets.
To some people, dividing their assets simply means transferring cash and property between each other for a handshake. However, this does not satisfy the requirements of the Family Law Act 1975. These informal agreements do not finalise the financial relationship between parties and may result in future litigation and financial vulnerability for parties who (wrongly) thought they had a final deal property settlement.
Parties who can agree on how to divide their assets should always formalise their agreement, and the best way to do this is via a Binding Financial Agreement or Application for Consent Orders. Not only will they obtain the freedom to make financial decisions without the concern of future Family Court claims, but there are also some taxation benefits which may be applicable to parties when finalising an agreement through the Family Court Orders.
It is always important to ensure that the Orders which you and your former partner ask the Family Court to make cover all relevant matters. However, the Family Court is not able to prepare these Orders for you or provide you with legal advice. As a result, Orders made by the Court at your request without the assistance of a Family Law expert may not actually do what you and your former partner intended.
Obtaining independent legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in Family Law should always be the first step before you consider lodging an Application for Consent Orders.
This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter contact the Family Law team at HHG Legal on (08) 9322 1966.