Property and Financial Settlements

Have you and your spouse (or partner which also includes same-sex partners) recently separated? If the answer is yes, then no doubt you will be questioning how you will divide up your assets.

Your property and financial matters can be settled immediately once separated.  Alternatively, if you and your spouse have already divorced and have not yet commenced any proceedings or come to an agreement about your financial and property matters, then you must file court proceedings within 12 months of the date of your divorce.

For a de facto relationships, the time limit in which you must file court proceedings is two years from the date of separation.

If you and your former partner have already come to an agreement with regards to your property and financial matters, you may wish to simply seek legal advice as to whether the terms of your agreement are legally binding and of course enforceable.

Your first meeting with a solicitor

When you first meet with one of our solicitors, you will be asked a series of questions about yourself, your former partner and your relationship.  More commonly, you will be asked about your financial circumstances at the beginning of your relationship, during your relationship and during separation. Such questions will relate to joint and individual assets and liabilities, employment, and income information, if there is any superannuation entitlements, whether any assets are held by a trust by either party, your bank account details, whether there are any business or companies and any other relevant information relating to your financial circumstances.

It is also important to prepare a chronology of relevant dates or have important dates written down to share with our solicitors. The chronology should include:

  • Date of your marriage (if applicable)
  • Date of separation
  • Dates of birth of children (if applicable)
  • Date of purchase of any assets
  • Date of sale of any assets
  • Employment history
  • Income history


Assets and Liabilities

You should attempt to estimate the values of each of your assets. These include properties you own, vehicles you own, shares, bank accounts and businesses if any.
Where possible, you should try to estimate the approximate values of each of your assets (such as properties, cars, businesses, shares and bank accounts). It is likely that you and your former partner will disagree on the value and therefore an independent expert may be required to provide a valuation of that asset.


What to bring to your meeting

  • Marriage Certificate (if married)
  • Divorce Order (if already obtained)
  • Copies of any existing orders and/or agreements between you and your former partner
  • Bank statements including credit card statements
  • Superannuation statements
  • Individual and business tax returns and financial statements

One of our solicitors will then discuss with you your options such as whether settling out of court or filing court proceedings. Our solicitor will also discuss with you the process that the court adopts to determine how your financial and property matters will be dealt with and settled.
We would recommend that you contact our office sooner rather to deal with your financial and property matters.

Sandy Chehade
Principal Lawyer
LLB, GDLP, LLM (Family)


If you would like to contact us to make an appointment or you need help regarding any legal matter, please contact our office during business hours on 1300 889 370.
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