Property & Finance

One of the first concerns many people have upon separation is the consequences of that separation on their financial circumstances, both in the short and the long term. It is important to get the right advice about your legal entitlements or obligations in relation to financial matters prior to separating, or as soon as possible after the separation.

Conveyancing

ATW Family Law can assist you with all aspects of conveyancing whether you are buying or selling a property, transferring a property between family members or transferring a property between spouses pursuant to Family Court Orders and/or Financial Agreements.

Buying a home is often one of the most significant financial investments you will make. It can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. ATW Family Law will advise you through each stage of the process including contract review and obtaining and reviewing other ‘due diligence’ documents such as pest and building reports or strata reports. We can assist you in dealing with your lender to ensure that everything is in order with your finances. We provide clear and easy to understand advice throughout the process.

When selling a home or investment property we will liaise with your agent to ensure the Contract is available and assist with any negotiations with the solicitors for prospective purchasers.

We regularly act as an independent solicitor appointed by other solicitors to sell properties after Family Court Orders are made. In these matters we liaise with both parties and their solicitors throughout the conveyancing process.

Many of our clients need to sell a home or investment property or transfer an interest in that property after Family Court Orders are made or a Financial Agreement is entered into. We act on our client’s behalf to ensure that all necessary property transfers are implemented to put into effect the Orders or terms of the Agreement, ensuring that all provisions of the Orders/Agreement are fully complied with.

Property Settlement

The Family Law Act approaches the division of property between a separated couple by firstly determining whether there should be any adjustment between the parties – so the Court is required to look at each parties’ existing individual assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources and decide whether it is just and equitable to make an order altering those existing interests. 

If the Court determines that there should be an alteration of those existing interests, then the Court applies a four-step process outlined in the Family Law Act which considers the asset pool, the contributions made by each party to that pool, whether an adjustment should be made for future needs and whether the overall result is just and equitable.   

Each case is determined on its own individual facts and circumstances and no two cases are alike.

Many couples reach agreement between themselves in relation to a division of their asset pool.  If, however, no agreement can be reached, then Court proceedings may have to be commenced.

The only time limit on the commencement of property proceedings is that an Application must be filed within twelve months of a Divorce Order being made, or within two years from the date of separation in a de facto relationship.  An Application can be brought to file for property proceedings out of time, however whether such an application will be successful will depend upon the particular circumstances of the case.

ATW Family Law can advise you on your property entitlements in your particular circumstances.

Spousal Maintenance

ATW Family Law can advise you regarding your rights and obligations in respect of spousal maintenance following the breakdown of a relationship.

Generally, in order to be entitled to spousal maintenance, one party must have the ability to pay, and the other party must have the need for that maintenance.

Any claims for spousal maintenance must be commenced within twelve months of a Divorce Order being made, or within two years from the date of separation in a de facto relationship. Otherwise an Application can be brought out of time, however whether such an application will be successful will depend upon the particular circumstances of the case.

Financial Agreements

Financial Agreements are agreements recognised under the Family Law Act which make provision for the division of a couples’ assets, liabilities and financial resources upon a separation.

Financial Agreements can be entered into between married or de facto couples either before the commencement of the relationship, during the relationship or at the end of a relationship.

The purpose of Financial Agreements is to oust the jurisdiction of the Courts from determining any issues which are the subject of a Financial Agreement. If, for example, a Financial Agreement deals with property settlement, then a Court cannot deal with a dispute regarding property settlement between the parties, unless the Financial Agreement is firstly set aside by a Court.

Matters that are generally incorporated into a financial agreement include:-

Financial Agreements are not binding unless both parties have received independent legal advice and Statements are attached to the Agreement stating that the parties have received legal advice prior to entering into the Agreement.

ATW Family Law deal with all aspects of Financial Agreements including negotiating the terms of such agreements, drafting and implementing the terms of the Agreements, and enforcement and setting aside of Financial Agreements.

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Our Family Resources

Child Support

Child Support is generally determined under the Child Support (Assessment) Act through the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (“the DHS”) rather than the Family Court.  In order to determine the amount of child support

ATW Family Law Policies

At ATW Family Law we are committed to our client’s concerns and needs from start to finish. We are obliged to remain diligent to any possible conflict of interest that may arise in any matter