Thinking about an informal property settlement with your ex? Hit pause!

You’ve decided to separate and move on with your life.  You’ve also been able to reach agreement with your ex. What’s next?

It is understandable that you may not want to spend money on a family lawyer to formalise your arrangement, especially if your relationship is amicable.  Perhaps you’re thinking that surely you can just split your assets, shut down the joint bank accounts, pay out the credit cards, have your ex move out of the family home and move on with your life.  Well, you thought wrong.

For some people, things can work out and you all live happily ever after.  But what if down the track your ex changes their mind about your property settlement? What happens then?

If there is no formal agreement in place, either by way of a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders, you run the risk that your ex may make an application to the Court to seek final property orders.

I have a client who reached an informal property settlement with her husband 12 years ago.  My client kept the family home, paid a sum of money to her husband and moved on with her life.  It came as a big surprise 12 years later (after my client received a substantial inheritance) when my client received a Court Application from her ex, seeking that she pay him $150,000.  He claimed that the agreement they reached 12 years prior wasn’t fair to him.

So instead of spending a nominal amount on a family lawyer 12 years ago to formalise their agreement by way of Consent Orders, my client now unfortunately faces an expensive and grueling court battle.

Next steps

If you are able to reach agreement about the division of your property following separation, you can formalise the agreement with Consent Orders. The Consent Orders are filed at the Family Court and once approved by a Registrar of the Court, they are made into Orders.  There is no requirement to attend Court and you achieve the certainty and protection of binding Orders in a cost-effective manner.

Consent Orders are a practical, inexpensive solution to finalising your property settlement.  For some information to help you in preparing or filing an Application for Consent Orders, check out this link: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/forms-and-fees/court-forms/diy-kits/kit-diy-application-consent-order


If you would like help with finalising your Consent Orders, contact O’Loan Family Law, https://www.oloanfamilylaw.com.au/, family lawyers in North Sydney, on 02 9922 2230 or info@oloanfamilylaw.com.au for an initial chat.