A Property Settlement Agreement, more commonly referred to as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) in Australia, is a practical and effective method for officially documenting the distribution of assets and liabilities following the dissolution of a marriage or de facto relationship.
A Binding Financial Agreement is like any other contract and is subject to the standard principles of Australian contract law. When formalising an agreement with your partner, it is therefore necessary to ensure you draft in a way that reduces the risk of it being challenged in court proceedings later down the track.
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) allows for the division of certain superannuation interests between parties to a marriage or de facto relationship. Before making the financial decision to divide your superannuation assets with your partner, it is important that you are aware of the process and what is involved in carrying out each step.
In this article, we’ll discuss the impact of initial contributions in property settlements (the process of dividing finances after separation or divorce) to help you better navigate the process and avoid any nasty surprises popping up along the way.
Retirement savings in the form of superannuation funds have become an increasingly important form of family wealth in Australia. But did you know that most separating couples fail to consider superannuation when dividing property after a relationship breakdown? This article will help bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about splitting superannuation contributions with your spouse.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that separating couples are facing additional challenges. In particular, restrictions on gathering and moving between different places mean that property or financial settlement negotiations cannot take place in person. In this article, we’ll outline the property settlement process and help you better understand your options when it comes to finalising an agreement during COVID-19.
For anyone considering separation, the thought of living with your ex-spouse under the one roof might seem horrifying and ridiculous! Most people would agree that the idea of having to sharing a home with a person who you have either lost all feelings for – or still have intense, raw feelings for – would be very difficult. Amazingly though, the number of Aussies who are separated under the one roof is much higher than what you might think.
There is no doubt that the thought of going to court is scary for most people. You don’t know whether your will get your desired outcome or how much it will cost, or even if it’s necessary. Answering the question of what you should do if you separate from a long term partner is complex and dependent on many factors. Read this article to learn more.
Going through a separation or divorce and navigating change is a stressful and often overwhelming process. Common matters that arise during the settlement process include working out how to divide property or deciding who gets custody of the kids. But one of the lesser-known challenges is determining which party will get to keep the family pet.
Tired of arguing with your ex over childcare issues? You can create more harmony in your co-parenting relationship by using a parenting plan. A Parenting Plan is a mutually-agreed-upon plan that formally documents the parenting arrangements for children after their parents divorce or separate.
This article answers common questions about separation and property settlement. It covers separation under one roof, how to document your settlement legally, dealing with superannuation, transferring property, maintenance, divorce applications and more.
My daughter has had relationship issues with her husband for a couple of years and they now live separately but still under the same roof. They have one daughter. My daughter is a saver and has paid off the mortgage on their house. Her husband is a spender who always runs up debt on his credit card, paying huge interest rates. My daughter is concerned that if anything happens to her, her husband will have her half share of the house as well as his own. She has no confidence that he will look out for their daughter.
One of our customers contacted us this week, enquiring as to whether his long-term local lawyer, who had acted on behalf of himself and his wife for many years, could prepare and finalise his Financial Agreement. The difficulty with appointing your family’s long-standing lawyer to finalise your agreement is that the same lawyer cannot act for both yourself and your partner. This can raise all sorts of issues for the couple and the agreement.
“I inherited some money from my father and a friend separately and some years apart. I subsequently bought a flat (apartment) for roughly to the same value as both inheritance monies combined. I am now divorced and about to go through the legal process to sort out the assets as both parties cannot agree on a settlement arrangement. Are those inheritance monies considered part of my asset pool from which my ex-wife has a claim?”
A couple has an obligation to maintain each other, even after their relationship breaks down. The likelihood of spousal maintenance being paid, and the extent of the payments, will vary depending on various factors – firstly, whether one party can actually afford to support the other, and to what extent.
Fraud and undue influence are two factors that may negate a person’s otherwise valid consent to a Binding Financial Agreement. We look at a couple of examples of how these factors contributed to agreements being overturned.
A recent case in the Family Court set the precedent of allowing the Australian Tax Office (and other bodies) to access family court documents for purposes unrelated to the court proceedings such as tax audits and assessments.
Video explaining why a couple needs to get legal advice when entering into a Financial Agreement.
When can my de facto partner make a claim on my assets?
Money is a major source of conflict in personal relationships. Open and honest communication about financial goals and money habits is a useful strategy for minimising money arguments.
After separation, there are four steps tha partners should take to decide how the property pool will be split. After identifying the property pool you need to consider the contributions of the parties to the asset pool (s 79(4) of the Family Law Act).
There are a lot of myths surrounding de facto separation and divorce in Australia. One is that assets are split 50/50 between the parties. But this simply isn’t true. We look at the facts behind this myth and outline the process of how you determine a fair division of the property pool.
There are a bunch of grey areas when it comes to managing a separation from a long term partner who is also a parent of your child/ren. Thankfully taking care of child support payments is reasonably black and white. You have two options to choose from – either applying to the Child Support Agency or making a private agreement between yourselves. We explore both options and how they can help you to stop arguing over child support.
We answer this common question and explore the actions you should take to comply with Family law.
A recent Canadian Court case highlights the importance of formalising a separation when property and children are involved. In this particular case, a man was able to prove that he still entitled to half of a property he purchased with his estranged wife over fifty years ago.
Spousal maintenance is an issue that can be addressed within a financial agreement along with the division of assets and debt. When doing so, it’s wise to think about how the payments will be terminated.
Affidavits are a particular type of document used to record information as evidence for matters being dealt with by a court. There are many different types of affidavit’s and you need to ensure that you complete the correct type for your particular matter.
Sometimes when a married or de facto relationship breaks down, the partners may need to keep living together under the one roof. We examine how the legislation treats such circumstances.
Contemplating separation is never easy. It can be even more difficult when you don’t know your rights or the facts about how it will affect your future security
Some people really know how to get themselves into strife. Let’s take the example of Brian who recently left his wife and set up a new de facto relationship with his mistress of 11 years.
We look at the factors that determine if you can take the peaceful path to property settlement if you are separating.
Family Law Courts place a high value on the contribution of the Stay-at-home parent or homemaker as shown by the recent case Elgin & Elgin, who separated after 49 years of marriage.
It’s not uncommon for couples to break up without taking care of the paperwork. But if you’ve accumulated assets together then delaying property settlement can be a costly mistake.
In Australia you can apply for a divorce if you have been separated for 12 months by lodging a divorce application form with the Family Court.
A custody battle between a same sex couple over custody rights to their two children conceived by IVF, was decided just like any other custody dispute.
If you are struggling with family or relationship issues, or feelings of grief, sadness or anger associated with separation or divorce – help is available. Many support organisations exist in Australia offering various services to help you cope with and overcome painful and difficult times in your life. There is no need to suffer in silence.