Reaching a just and equitable outcome is often the main concern when facing a property settlement.
No property settlement is too complex
Our expert lawyers arm you with individually tailored strategies to combat any complexities that may arise, so you can confidently make some of the most important financial decisions you will ever make and achieve the best possible result.
Property Settlements Team
Tim Ryan - Director
The Family Law Act sets out the legal principles by which property settlements are worked out following a separation. Over the years judges have made countless decisions which enable family lawyers to tell our clients what to expect.
Unfortunately, two households cost more than one, and this, combined with gossip about what a party should expect, lead to much disappointment and disagreement.
One can start working out a property settlement without waiting for a divorce, and normally proceedings have to be commenced no later than twelve months after a divorce.
The process for working out an outcome involves four steps:
Step 1 is to draw up a family balance sheet, of assets and liabilities. It does not matter in whose name an asset or a debt is, and a separate list for superannuation is required.
Step 2 requires an assessment of past contributions, both financial and non-financial. In a typical household where Dad has been the primary earner and Mum the primary parent and homemaker, those contributions will normally be seen as equal. If there have been special contributions from one side or the other, such as initial contributions, inheritances or other windfalls, adjustments will be made. The significance of such contributions usually becomes less and less significant as time passes.
Step 3 then make any necessary adjustments based on future needs and responsibilities. Typical of matters for which adjustments will be made are:-
- The ongoing care of children,
- Other financial resources, such as family trusts,
- Age, health and earning capacity, often related
It is through Step 3 that one hears of mothers in typical suburban households receiving, say, 60% or 70% of the family assets.
Step 4 involves looking at the outcome to see whether it is "just and equitable", but Step 4 adjustments are not common in the majority of cases.
The similar process is applied to superannuation. Once an appropriate division is determined, some of one party's superannuation can be transferred to the other party, but as superannuation. This is known as superannuation split.
It is not compulsory to sell assets. If one party wants to keep the family home, for example, and can do so, then a formal valuation will normally be seen as acceptable evidence of the worth of the property.
Parties can enter into what is known as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA), which can be made before, during or after a marriage. The "Before marriage" agreement is often referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement, and all BFA's are normally binding and remove a court's power to make property orders. Probably the most common way of finalizing a property settlement is by "Consent Orders", which are final court orders obtained by a joint written application, without any court appearance.
How we can help
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers’ expert Family Law Team can assess your individual situation in accordance with the Act, provide expert guidance in negotiations with your former partner, offer practical and experienced advice if appearing before the Court is unavoidable, and provide you with the best possible representation if court-ordered agreements are required. With over 40 years’ experience, Q&S’s Family Law Team are experts in the family law field. The Team also boasts two Accredited Family Law Specialists.
Attending an initial consultation, at any of our seven offices, is the essential first step.
The initial consultation provides you with an opportunity to meet your dedicated lawyer, discuss issues, identify your options, map solutions and provide an estimate of costs. Lasting up to one hour, our initial consultations provide the perfect opportunity to have a no obligation, confidential discussion about your family law matter.
In addition, the time spent provides you with an opportunity to assess whether our family solicitor is the right one for you during this important and often stressful transition in your life.
We understand that the urgent, and often unavoidable, nature of family law matters may leave you financially blindsided.
If eligible, we may be able to represent you on a “deferred fee basis”. This arrangement means your legal fees can be paid at pre-determined intervals for example, following the sale of a property or at the conclusion of your matter. Our expert lawyers will keep you up-to-date with costs, allowing you to stay in control of spend.
To determine your eligibility, call Q&S on 1800 999 529, or alternatively submit an online enquiry below. This aspect can also be discussed during an initial consultation.
Please note, we do not offer “no win no fee” arrangements for family law matters.
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers do not do Legal Aid for family law matters.
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers are preferred suppliers of Legal Aid for criminal law matters only.
If you require detailed information on the Legal Aid process, eligibility requirements or would like to make an application for a family solicitor, visit Legal Aid Queensland’s website or access the Factsheet “Can I get Legal Aid”.
Why choose us?
You will be talking to a real expert, local to you. You will not be treated like a file number, but as a real person, and a person going through a difficult and stressful experience. Get expert advice, not just what you want to hear, in a language you can understand, not legal jargon.
Q&S’s expert property settlement lawyers are available at any of Q&S’s seven office locations.
Get in touch!
Book an initial consultation, submit an online enquiry below or speak to an expert property settlement lawyer on 1800 999 529.