When couples decide to separate, they should also consider the need to end their financial relationship.
It is important to be aware that you can finalise your property settlement with the other person as soon as you separate. It is a common misunderstanding that you can’t finalise your financial relationship before you apply for a divorce. A lot can change in 12 months! In that time you could have purchased/sold assets, inherited money, 7made substantial contributions to your superannuation, or even won the lotto!
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) imposes a limitation period for parties seeking orders (contested or by consent) for a property division or spouse maintenance. This limitation is one year from the date of a divorce order taking effect or two years from the date of separation in the case of de facto couples.
You can reach an agreement with the other person by way of negotiation, or through a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner, or by using a lawyer.
If you reach an agreement with the other person you will be able to file an Application for Consent Orders, and Minutes of Consent. The documents are located here:
If you are unable to reach an agreement with the other person by way of negotiation, you may need to commence proceedings in the court and obtain orders for things such as financial disclosure, or the valuation/transfer/sale of assets, and have the matter set down for a Conciliation Conference (a financial conference) with the Registrar. The documents are located here:
Pursuant to a Practice Direction made by the court, your Affidavit should not exceed 10 pages in length and should not contain more than 5 Annexures.
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