Why do I need to formalise a property agreement

We often get asked by our family law clients whether a property agreement has to be formalised, or whether the “shake-hands” approach is sufficient. Our advice is always the former. All too often we have seen clients affected by their lack of formal agreement, often coming back to cause havoc in the months, and sometimes years after the breakdown of their relationship.

For married couples, there is a time limitation period of one (1) year after the parties divorce, to have the property aspects of the marriage finalised. For de facto couples, there is a time limitation period of two (2) years after separation. For married couples that do not divorce at the first available opportunity, the door is left open for either party to make an application for a property settlement after a significant amount of time has passed since separation.

In Australia, after the breakdown of a de-facto or married relationship, there a two (2) ways way to finalise a property settlement:

  1. By preparing Consent Orders in the Family Court of Western Australia; or
  2. By preparing a Binding Financial Agreement.

As part of the Family Law Act, parties to a Binding Financial Agreement are required to have sought independent legal advice before the agreement is binding. For Consent Orders, there is no requirement for independent legal advice.

It should also be noted that both of these options offer significant stamp duty benefits in the event that a transfer of ownership forms part of the financial agreement. Without Consent Orders, or a Binding Financial Agreement, it is likely that the parties to a property transfer, would be left with a large stamp duty debt.

A finalised property settlement also gives the parties peace of mind, and financial security in knowing that no further claim can be made by either party in the years to come. This gives you the peace of mind to move forward with your life.

At Affinitas Legal we can formalise, timely and inexpensive financial agreements, to give you peace of mind and security. For more information on financial agreements, please contact our team of Perth Family Lawyers on 08 6243 7544 for an obligation free estimate.


General Advice Warning

The information contained on this brochure is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a suitably qualified lawyer.

All legal and other matters referred to on this brochure are of a general nature only and are based on Affinitas Legal’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time and the information contained herein may be out of date.

Accuracy & Reliability of Information

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained in this brochure, Affinitas Legal, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained on this brochure or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.