If you and your spouse/partner agree on a property settlement, it is important that this be properly documented, even if you have minimal or no assets.
We have agreed to separate our assets, what now?
The most common way to document your agreement is to file an Application for Consent Orders with the Family Court, together with the Orders which implement your agreement. The orders can include transfers of any assets and division of superannuation. Another way to document your property agreement is to enter into a Financial Agreement.
Why do I need to document a property agreement?
It finalises matters, provides certainty, protects your interests and eliminates the possibility of your spouse/partner making claims against your assets, including those you accumulate after separation and into the future.
If you properly document your agreement, you may also be eligible for stamp duty exemptions and/or capital gains tax rollover relief.
Are the options the same for de facto couples?
For de facto couples who separate after 1 March 2009, yes. Those who separated prior to this date can enter into a Termination Agreement drafted under relevant State or Territory laws. Alternatively, both parties can agree to “opt into” the provisions under the Family Law Act and document any agreement through an Application for Consent Orders.
What if we don’t own any assets?
It may still be important to formalise a property settlement as you may need to protect your future assets. Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson can advise you about the best way to document your property agreement.