What is a Property Settlement?
Following the breakdown of a relationship (either de facto or marriage) a decision has to be made regarding how the assets are to be divided. Usually there is mutual agreement that each party is entitled to something but agreeing on what each party is entitled to is not always as simple.
Divorce versus Property Settlement
Property settlements and divorce under the Family Law Act are entirely separate things. A divorce is simply the deregistration of marriage with the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages. To obtain a divorce, your situation must have the following elements:
- You must have been separated for at least 12 months;
- You must consider that the relationship has irretrievably broken down; and
- You must consider that there is no likelihood of cohabitation being resumed.
Unlike divorce, a property settlement determines the division of assets and can be commenced immediately following separation.