When a married couple decides to separate or divorce, one of the most challenging aspects of the process can be dividing their assets and liabilities. This process is known as a financial settlement, which is designed to ensure that each party receives a fair share of the property and finances that they have accumulated during the marriage.
The Purpose of a Financial Settlement
The purpose of a financial settlement is to divide the property and finances of the marriage in a way that is fair and equitable. This means that each party should receive a share of the assets and liabilities that reflects their contribution to the marriage, including financial and non-financial contributions such as taking time off work to care for children.
How Long Does a Financial Settlement Take?
The length of time it takes to reach a financial settlement can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the level of cooperation between the parties, and whether they are able to agree on the terms of the settlement. On average, it can take several months to reach a financial settlement, and in some cases, it may take longer if the case goes to court.
Is Superannuation Included in a Financial Settlement?
One of the most common questions people have about financial settlements is whether superannuation is included in the division of assets. The short answer is yes. Superannuation is considered a financial asset and is subject to division in the same way as other financial assets. However, the process of dividing superannuation can be more complicated than other assets. It can be divided between the parties in a way that is fair and equitable and therefore, may require the assistance of a financial expert to ensure that it is divided equitably.
Is a 50/50 Split Always Easy to Achieve?
No, a 50/50 split is not always easy to achieve, as each case is unique and must be considered on its merits. Factors such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of each party, and the future needs of each party will be considered when determining a fair and equitable split of the assets.
How Are Non-Financial Contributions Viewed in a Property Settlement?
Non-financial contributions, such as taking time off work to care for children, are viewed as equally important as financial contributions in a property settlement. These contributions will be taken into account when determining a fair and equitable split of the assets.
Do I Have to Disclose All My Assets in a Financial Settlement?
Yes, you are required to disclose all of your assets and liabilities in a financial settlement. Failure to disclose all of your assets and liabilities can result in the financial settlement being set aside or even lead to serious consequences, including being penalised by the court.
What If I Don’t Know What Assets My Ex-Partner Has?
If you are unsure of the assets and liabilities of your ex-partner, you can request that they provide you with this information. If they refuse to provide this information, you may need to seek legal advice to help you obtain it.
Do We Have to Go to Court for a Financial Settlement?
While going to court is an option for resolving a financial settlement, it is not always necessary. In many cases, financial settlements can be negotiated and resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or negotiating a settlement with the help of their lawyers. This can be a faster and less expensive way to reach an agreement, while also allowing both parties to have greater control over the outcome. However, if parties are unable to reach an agreement through these methods, then court proceedings may be necessary for a judge to resolve the matter.
How do you make a Financial Settlement Agreement Legally Binding?
A financial settlement agreement can become legally binding in a number of ways, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. In general, a financial settlement agreement becomes legally binding when it is approved by a court and incorporated into a consent order.
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