Divorce lawyers handling property relationship agreements and separation agreements on your behalf.
Property (Relationship) Agreement
If you have been married, in a de facto relationship or civil union for more than three years, all of your relationship property will be divided equally under the Property Relationships Act 1976.
Relationship property includes:
- Family home and chattels
- All other property acquired during the course of the relationship
- All property acquired before the relationship, which has been used as relationship property
Couples may “contract out” of the Property Relationships Act 1976 by entering into their own property agreement, to determine the status and ownership of their property and how it will be divided.
The agreement can be made to apply while both parties are alive, or when one of them dies, or in both situations.
An independent property agreement should include the following terms and information:
- What property is intended to be owned together, and in what shares
- What property is to remain the separate property of each party
- Whether or not any property should no longer be classed as separate property because it has been, or will be used jointly
- Who owns any gifts made by one party to the other, or any gifts from third parties
Both parties must obtain independent legal advice, and the property agreement must also be signed by both parties and witnessed by a lawyer, otherwise it is unenforceable.
A Court cannot overturn an agreement that has been signed by both parties who have sought independent legal advice, unless it is deemed extremely unfair to one of the parties.
A separation means you are still legally married or in a civil union but have agreed to live separately. If this is what you have both agreed to do, you can arrange a separation agreement.
A separation agreement can help to avoid any misunderstandings later on. It can cover issues such as day to day care of and contact with children, division of any property, and record the date of your separation.
If the agreement covers division of property, a lawyer must certify that each spouse or civil union partner has received independent legal advice.
A separation agreement is not necessary to:
- qualify for the domestic purposes benefit
- dissolve your marriage or civil union (get a divorce)