Do I need a Family Law Property Settlement? Can I just get a divorce?
These are common questions.
A property settlement and/or a spousal maintenance claim is entirely separate from a divorce.
A divorce simply means that you are no longer married and you can re-marry or change your name.
A divorce is not a property settlement under the Family Law Act.
If you file for a divorce before you have completed a property settlement and or spousal maintenance claim you have only 12 months from the date of divorce to finalise your property settlement and/or spousal maintenance claim. This can be a tight deadline, especially if negotiations have not taken place and no agreement has been reached.
For de facto couples, you have two years from the date of separation in which to make a property and or spousal maintenance claim under the Family Law Act.
Once the deadline has expired, you need to seek the Court’s permission to apply out of time. This will add extra expense to your court proceedings.
What should I do?
We suggest seeking advice from a Family Law solicitor as soon as possible following separation. We understand that this is a difficult time however it is important to know what next steps you should take in your situation.