Separation can be costly, so take a look at your options

WHEN people separate they usually need to sort out how to divide their assets (property) and debts.

There are various ways this can be done.

You and your former spouse or de facto partner can agree on how your property should be divided without any court involvement with a Binding Financial Agreement.

You can seek to formalise your agreement by applying for Consent Orders in the Family Court.

If you cannot reach agreement, you can apply to a court for financial orders, including orders relating to the division of property and payment of spouse or de facto spouse maintenance.

It is important to realise the way your assets and debts will be shared between you will depend on your individual circumstances.

Upon separation it is important the parties each obtain separate legal advice.

If the parties agree on the split of assets then a Financial Binding Agreement can be entered into listing the assets and the split. The Financial Binding Agreement is then signed by both parties after obtaining separate legal advice, and lodged with the court for registration and stamping with the Court Seal.

If the parties do not agree then application for court orders may be made and the parties will be required to attend dispute resolution which can be lengthy and costly.

There is no formula used to divide property and no-one can tell you exactly what orders a court will make. The decision is made after all the evidence is heard and the judicial officer decides what is just and equitable based on the unique facts of each case.

This advice is general in nature. For advice phone Macdonald & Michel Lawyers on 4972 3644 or