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Financial arrangements can be formalised by court orders or by a financial agreement.
 
It is important that property arrangements are formalised, as in some circumstances, an application for property orders can be made many, many years after separation.  The Court will consider property as at the date of a trial, not property as at the date of separation. 

  • Binding Financial Agreements
  • Consent Orders
  • Superanuation
The Process

Court orders can be made by consent, or by a Judge.  
 
The Court can only make property orders if they are found to be just and equitable.  To determine whether orders are just and equitable, the Court must consider the value of the net assets of the parties, the contributions made by the parties to the relationship (such as financial, non financial or parenting and homemaking contributions) and the future needs of the parties.

Most property matters are straightforward and can be dealt with relatively quickly and easily.  Sometimes, however, due to complex business structures, or due to losses associated with the conduct of a party such as gambling, property matters can become more complicated.  It is important to get early and practical advice.  

 

How Quickly Should I Apply?
If there is a self managed superfund, a large amount of cash or shares, or a large draw down facility or credit card limit, then it may be worth making sure that funds cannot disappear.  Sadly, this does sometimes happen and it is better to ensure that two signatures are required on an account, or to reduce a credit limit, than to find that money has simply gone, spent, missing or gambled away.  
 
Although you should protect funds, you should also ensure that you are not leaving the mortgage unpaid or your former partner or spouse destitute.  Such behaviour may not be viewed well by a Judge hearing an urgent application for property orders or spousal maintenance.  There is a limit however, as finding yourself paying a mortgage where your former spouse is refusing to pay, leave, or sell, can be very frustrating and usually means that you cannot afford to move on.  Seeking urgent orders that the house be sold may be the answer.
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