Why should I formalise my property settlement?

Don’t fall into the trap of not formalising your property settlement when you already have an agreement with your former partner, or you have no significant assets to divide, such as a house.

But why engage lawyers and spend money when you already have an amicable agreement? Or why formalise a property settlement when there is essentially no property?

Well, to not do so is fraught with risk and an extremely unwise decision for many reasons and here’s why.

If you don’t formalise your property settlement in accordance with the Family Law Act, you will have no protection against your former partner making a further claim against your current or future acquired assets. Even if you have an oral agreement, or a written document detailing the asset division signed and dated by each of you, it is frankly worthless as it will have no legal effect and will provide no protection for you in the future. Many people have made the mistake of not formalising their property settlement, and following a large windfall of cash, such as an inheritance, their former partner returns for a second bite at the cherry.

Do not let this happen to you.

Do yourself a massive favour and formalise your property settlement.

By doing so, you will receive a myriad of benefits and protections. One major perk is that you avoid paying stamp duty on the transfer of real estate from joint names to one name, or from one name to another. This exemption applies regardless of the value of the property or the number of properties you own, provided you have formalised the agreement in the correct manner. Most often, the savings in not paying stamp duty exceeds the legal costs in formalising your property settlement, so it makes commercial sense to do so.

In addition to saving on stamp duty, you will have a legally binding and enforceable agreement. This is particularly helpful if your former partner has decided not to follow through with the agreement or is delaying implementing the terms of the agreement, such as failing to pay you an agreed cash settlement. You also legally cut financial ties with your former partner and avoid the risk of future Court proceedings, which can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.

How do I formalise my property settlement?

There are two ways to formalise your property settlement. One option is to make an application to the Family Court for Consent Orders. At Nolan Lawyers, we prepare and file the documents for you and once approved by the Court, the end result is you have binding court orders which can be legally enforced. We can also help you implement the orders, including any transfers or sale of real estate. The second option is that you enter into a Binding Financial Agreement, which is not filed at Court, but both parties must receive independent legal advice, unlike the Consent Orders.

If you want further information on why you should formalise your property settlement or how we can help you to do so, please contact our office on 02 8014 5885 to arrange a free no-obligation 30-minute consultation.