Should I do a Formal Property Settlement?
The short answer is yes. In almost all respects, defacto couples have the same rights as married couples. Many defacto couples slip into a separation without legally finalising financial or children’s arrangements through filing an Application for Consent Orders (Form 11) with the Family Court or signing a Binding Financial Agreement. Without this, you leave yourself vulnerable and exposed. Read about the divorce process to understand this better.
Things can be amicable at the time of separation and it may seem easier to “let sleeping dogs lie”, however what happens in a few years when your ex has a new partner who is unhappy with what you agreed? If your ex then seeks to formalise financial arrangements, all assets, even those gained after your separation, could be taken into account by the Court in dividing property. You could leave yourself and future partners exposed financially by not formalising your agreement.
It can be simple. Keep it amicable but still formalise it by submitting a Form 11 to the Courts stating your agreed arrangements regarding property and children. You can do this yourself, or you may wish to consider Leach Legal’s De Novo Guide to step you through this process.
If you have a more complex separation and require full legal representation then we plan a strategic approach to managing the process just as we would for a married couple.
Are you not sure whether or not you are a defacto couple or just partners? It’s not always completely clear, and Catherine has written more on this in her blog.
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