08 8410 9294

Property Settlement

Property Settlement

You’ve Separated and it may lead to Divorce, but what happens now?

Can’t agree on how to divide the assets of your relationship or just need some help and advice to work through all the property settlement issues? Adelaide Legal are here to support and guide you towards the best possible outcome for you. We can help you work through the many issues you encounter when faced with the prospect of divorce, such as resolving property matters and ensuring that the children are cared for, with minimum disruption to their routine. Sensible advice for a sensible separation and a sensible divorce.

Many people think that a property settlement can only be undertaken after divorce or separation is finalised, but that isn’t the case. In fact, you can finalise your property matters any time after separation and indeed, many clients choose to do so. We are here to help you work through it.

To make it easier on you, our experienced Adelaide Legal family lawyers offer a free 30 minute, no obligation consultation, where we can talk you through your options. Sensibly.

What is involved in a Property Settlement?

‘Property’ in a settlement following a marital/defacto breakup doesn’t just involve the family home, investment property and cars. It can also include superannuation, trusts, inheritances, long service leave entitlements and compensation claims. An agreement also takes into consideration the financial and non-financial contributions that each party has made during the course of the relationship. For example:

  • Contributions as a parent or home-maker;
  • The future needs of each party and the care of any children, also taking into account such details as the parties’ health, ages, income, schooling and the need for a reasonable standard of living;
  • The earning capacity of both parties;
  • The length of the relationship; and
  • The property that each party brought into the marriage.

You will need to produce documents to support your position in relation to any proposed settlement agreement, including:

  • Details of all assets, liabilities and sources of income;
  • Bank statements (personal and business);
  • Superannuation statements;
  • Tax returns;
  • Trust deeds and company financials; and
  • Details of any other financial resources

It is a common misconception that all property settlements are split 50/50, but many factors need to be taken into consideration in reaching a percentage split, and the asset distribution varies according to each matter. That’s what Adelaide Legal are here for. To filter through all the information and work out what’s right for you, in your individual set of circumstances. We will fight for what’s fair and the best outcome for you. The sensible way.

Are There Time Limits Applying to Property Settlement?

Yes. The time limit to bring a claim commences from the date of separation, so it is important to get advice as soon as possible after your relationship has ended. For a defacto relationship, this is generally two years from the date of separation.

In the case of a marriage, once a divorce has been finalised there is a 12 month time limit within which your property settlement must be finalised, otherwise you may lose your right to bring a claim in the Court if the matter cannot be resolved without litigation. You can apply for property settlement at any point after separation.

Reaching an Agreement

If you and your ex-partner are still communicating, it is best to see if you can reach a mutual agreement in relation to your joint property and assets. Of course, before you do so it is ideal to get independent legal advice, so that you are aware of your rights and what you are entitled to.

If you can reach an agreement, then you and your ex-partner can apply to the Court for Consent Orders to be made ex-parte, i.e. without the need for a Court appearance and without going through the Court system. Consent Orders are legally binding and enforceable and the Court will consider the facts of your matter to determine whether the agreement is fair and equitable.

Will I need to go to Court?

If you and your ex-partner can’t reach an agreement, then it may be necessary to make an application to the Court. The Court will take into consideration all of the factors of your case and will organise a conciliation conference where you, your lawyer, your ex-partner and their legal representative can meet in an attempt to reach agreement. If there is any reason that you do not feel comfortable being in the same room as your ex-partner, then it can be arranged for you to be in separate rooms.

If agreement cannot be reached by way of this conciliation conference, then the matter would proceed to trial and the Court would make a decision on the distribution of the assets of the relationship based on the evidence presented.


Superannuation can be a major asset which is also considered as part of the marital/defacto property pool, and may be equalised between the parties as part of your property settlement. Superannuation isn’t always straightforward, so let us help you cut through the jargon and keep it simple. The sensible way.

How can Adelaide Legal help?

At Adelaide Legal we understand that this can be an overwhelming and emotional time, and that’s why we work with you to achieve the best possible outcome. Regardless of the complexities of your case, you can rely on us. Whether we resolve your matter by consent or through litigation, our team of property settlement lawyers in Adelaide will be with you every step of the way.

At Adelaide Legal, you matter to us.

Call us today on (08) 8410 9494 to arrange a meeting, or email us at info@adelaidelegal.com.

Julia Adlem
Managing Associate Lawyer

Contact Julia

Stefania Scarcella
Lawyer, LLB

Contact Stefania

Be in touch

If you are interested in working together, send us an enquiry and we
will get back to you as soon as we can.