Separation and Divorce: Understanding Your Legal Options for Property Division

When a long-term relationship ends, the assets and liabilities must be shared between you and your former partner. The laws on the division of property apply to couples that were previously married, but their union has ended through annulment, separation or divorce. The same regulations also apply to confirmed de-facto relationships. There are significant challenges encountered during the distribution of assets after the end of a relationship; therefore, you should understand your options concerning property division for ideal legal results.

Informal agreements

You can make an informal arrangement with your former partner if you can come to an agreement. Typically, informal arrangements are spoken or written, depending on the preferences of the parties involved. However, this type of contract is not advisable in the division of property because the court does not have the authority to enforce the terms. While you could come to an agreement, it is not legally binding. Therefore, either party can change their minds in the future and seek more financial gain through settlements or long-term maintenance.

Financial agreements

A financial agreement is similar to the informal arrangement, but this alternative is legally binding for both individuals. The financial agreement must be a written document which outlines the provisions that both of you have accepted concerning the division of your assets and liabilities. The paper is often prepared at the end of the relationship, but couples can choose to make the appropriate contract before or during the marriage or partnership.

You should make sure that your financial agreement covers crucial issues such as ongoing maintenance and exact distribution of all the relevant items of value to avoid future contradictions and complications. It is important to note that for the contract to be enforceable, you and your partner must sign the document and provide an official statement confirming that you understand the implications of the arrangements.

Court orders

If you cannot make an agreement with your former spouse or partner, you should seek intervention from the court. Court orders are typically categorized into two: consent and financial. A consent order is an agreement written by the involved parties after negotiations. If approved by the court, the contract becomes a court order. A special tribunal is tasked with preparing a financial order after the evaluation of the circumstances. Once the order is created, the outlined terms on property sharing must be followed.

Property division during a divorce or separation can be complicated, especially if disagreements arise between you and your former partner. Consider seeking the guidance of a divorce solicitor before taking any legal measures.