Sunday, 24 January 2016

Know Your Deadlines – Property Division pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975


It is important to know that there are time limits on making applications under the family law for a property division. If you are unaware or not advised of these, there can be serious repercussions leaving you significantly worse off.

For defacto relationships, an application cannot be made under the Family Law Act 1975 more than 2 years after separation. For married couples, the time limit is 12 months after your divorce is made final. For this reason, many family lawyers will not encourage people to actually obtain their divorce until their property settlement is finalised or very near to being finalised.
 
While the deadline is clear cut for divorcing couples, the time limit on defacto relationship can cause more difficulties, particularly if there is a disagreement about precisely when your separation occurred. Parties will of course be more likely to recall a separation date in a way that is advantageous to them.
 
In the event that the deadline passes in either case, the Court may grant leave to a party to apply even if they are out of time, but you will need to explain to the Court the reason for the delay. The Court may grant leave to you to proceed out of time if it is satisfied that:
  • Hardship would be caused to a party to the relevant relationship or a child if leave were not granted; or
  • If applying for an order for spousal maintenance, that at the end of the limitation period, the circumstances of the person applying were that the person applying would not have been able to support themselves without an income tested pension, allowance or benefit.
The definition of hardship is a vigorously contested one. The Court will take a variety of factors into account when considering these issues, particularly what exactly is meant by ‘hardship’ but it is important to seek legal advice and act quickly if you are approaching or have just passed one of these deadlines.

Call us on 03 9614 711 or email Melbourne@nevettford.com.au.

1 comment:

  1. I am extremely thankful for your contribution to this field. Keep updating.People facing the end of a marriage or relationship will often find that many friends, family and colleagues consider themselves experts in family law. When it comes to property settlements there are many misconceptions. As leading property settlement lawyers in Sydney, we think we have heard most of the misconceptions and myths around.Property Settlement Lawyers Sydney

    ReplyDelete