My spouse and I have agreed on how to split the property. Do we need to get lawyers involved?
It is absolutely essential that any agreement reached between spouses is put into writing and approved by the Court in the form of Court Orders. If parties do not take this step, which at the time may seem unnecessary and a waste of time and money, they may live to seriously regret it.
The Family Law Act enables a party to commence proceedings for property settlement regardless of whether or not an informal agreement has already been reached between the parties at an earlier stage.
In determining how the property should be divided, the Court will look at the assets and liabilities of each party as at the date the matter goes to Court, not as at the date of separation and not as at the date of the earlier agreement. This can be financially devastating to a party in some cases, especially if that party’s financial position has advanced significantly since separation occurred.
It is imperative that you seek expert legal advice and assistance when separating to ensure your rights and entitlements are adequately protected.