Property Settlement

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Property Settlement

When a marriage or defacto relationship comes to a close, property, financial resources and assets will need to be divided. A property settlement will include more than property and your cash. It will also extend to shares, cars, assets, investments, crypto and superannuation.

How will assets and liabilities be divided?

In many cases, one or both parties will have assets that they acquired before and/or after the duration of the relationship. The direct and indirect financial contributions towards the relationship made by each party may be different. Non financial contributions will be taken into account as well.

Movement Legal will give you clear, independent legal advice on your property settlement, and will work  to ensure you receive the best outcome achievable.

Navigate the Property Settlement Process with Movement Legal

At Movement Legal, our experienced family lawyers are committed to helping you reach the best possible outcome in a family law property settlement. We understand that going through a family court property settlement amidst a relationship breakdown can be stressful and emotional, which is why we provide you with compassionate, practical, and effective legal advice and representation every step of the way.

Our team of family lawyers has extensive experience in all aspects of property settlement and family dispute resolution including identifying and valuing assets, negotiating settlements, and representing clients in court.

Some Questions on Property Settlements

Who decides on the property settlement?

A property settlement can be worked out either independently by the couple, or via the Court in the event they cannot.

Where the couple can come to their own arrangement on a property settlement, they can have their lawyers draft the agreement, and submit that to the court. Those become legally binding consent orders.

If they are unable to reach agreement, either member of the couple can apply to the court for a property settlement.

What is defined as “Property”?

In Australian family law, property involves all items that were owned or shared by the couple, including:

  • Your bank balance
  • Your house
  • Your car
  • Investments, shares or trusts you are part of
  • Any gifts or inheritances you have received
  • Your superannuation
  • Any loans or credit card debt

What will the court consider when reaching a settlement?

The court will follow a 4 part process:

  1. Determine the “property pool”
  2. Determine contributions made throughout the relationship
  3. Determine future needs of each party
  4. Determine a just and equitable settlement

How soon after divorce must the property settlement be made?

You will need to bring an application for property settlement to the Court within 12 months after having been divorced.

With defacto relationships the time limit is 24 months after separation.

Additional FAQs

To initiate the process, reach out to us either through our contact form or by giving us a call. Our team is approachable and always ready to assist you. We commit to responding to your inquiry within one hour during our business hours.

Following this, we'll schedule a brief 5 to 20-minute conversation with you to better comprehend your circumstances, your objectives, and how we can potentially aid you. If we determine that we can assist you, we'll schedule an initial consultation and then proceed with your case. Before commencing, we'll guide you through the process and set expectations to ensure that we are aligned and can work together effectively to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

During our initial call, we will inquire about three key areas: assets, the nature of the relationship, and children, in addition to discussing your desired outcomes for settling your matter.

This information will enable your lawyer to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation and provide you with strategic legal advice and a recommended course of action.


At Movement Legal, we highly value effective communication. We will keep you informed as your case progresses through various stages and will promptly respond to any emails or calls you send our way.

When it comes to property settlements, debts are also considered as part of the asset pool. It doesn't matter whether the debts are in joint names or separate names; they still need to be taken into account. As part of the property settlement process, you will need to work out who is going to pay off what debts.
It's important to note that the law relating to property settlements now applies to both married and de facto couples who separate. This means that if you are in a de facto relationship and separate after 1 March 2009, you have the same legal rights and entitlements as a married couple when it comes to property settlement.

If you are going through a separation or divorce, you may be wondering whether you need legal advice when it comes to the division of property. The short answer is yes — seeking legal advice is essential to ensuring that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Under Family Law in Australia, the division of property after separation is a complex and often contentious issue. Even if you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement on the division of property, it is still recommended that you seek expert advice to ensure that the agreement is fair and legally binding.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your former partner, court proceedings may be necessary to determine the division of property. In this case, seeking legal advice is even more important, as the court process can be complex and stressful.
At Movement Legal, our experienced family lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice and support throughout the property settlement process. We will work closely with you to ensure that your rights and interests are protected, whether you are negotiating a settlement or involved in court proceedings.

The court will follow a 4 part process:

  1. Determine the “property pool” - In a property settlement, the court must determine the size and nature of the property pool or "net asset pool". This includes all of the couple's assets, liabilities, and superannuation held in both individual and joint names. Both parties are required to provide full disclosure of their assets to the court and the other party.
  2. Determine financial and non-financial contributions made throughout the relationship - The court will then consider both parties' contributions to the relationship and family. These contributions can be financial or non-financial in nature and are taken into account when determining a fair and equitable settlement.

    For example, if one partner has worked full time while the other has cared for the children, both contributions will be considered. The court recognises that non-financial contributions, such as caring for the children and maintaining the household, are just as valuable as direct financial contributions.

  3. Determine future needs of each party - The court considers that after separation both parties may have different financial needs and obligations. For example, one party may need ongoing financial support to care for the children, while the other party may require support to meet their own future needs, such as their retirement or medical expenses

    In a property settlement, the court will take into account the future needs of both parties. These needs may include age, health, and earning capacity after separation, as well as the needs involved in caring for children after separation.

  4. Determine a just and equitable settlement - After considering the parties' contributions, the asset pool, and the future needs of each party, the court must determine what would be a just and equitable property settlement. This involves weighing all the relevant factors and determining a fair and reasonable outcome that reflects the individual circumstances of each party. The decision of the court will be guided by the principle of fairness and equity, and will consider a wide range of factors, including the parties' financial positions, contributions to the relationship, future needs, and any other relevant circumstances.

Why Movement Legal?

Family law specialists

Our lawyers are family law specialists, and deal with these and related legal issues daily.

We can help you with any aspect of family law - including advice around divorce and separation, child custody, property and financial arrangements, financial agreements, and more.

Fast turn around times

We will come back to you promptly with clear directions as to how we can help you and your matter. We prioritise communication with our clients to bring maximum efficiency into play.

Cost Certainty

We provide our clients with certainty and transparency on our legal fees. Wherever we can, we will quote you a fixed fee, rather than charging you by the hour.

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