With many years of experience in family law matters both in and out of the court system, the Solar and Stock Family Law team have created the following step-by-step guide on how to achieve a final Family Law property settlement without the expense, stress, delays and uncertainty of a court hearing
- Invest in obtaining your own independent and expert legal advice early on. This will save you an enormous amount in costs and time in the long run. It is essential that you are aware of what is a realistic outcome under your own particular circumstances as this will greatly assist you in negotiating sensibly with your ex on a settlement. Unrealistic expectations at the outset will only hinder or delay a proper final settlement.
- Make sure you have all the necessary information, whether financial or non- financial, from the other party which you are legally entitled to, so that you can make a properly informed decision. Similarly, co-operate with your ex to provide the similar information as may be requested by them.
- Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate. Once your lawyer has the information as requested we advise you on your legal rights. Depending on your own relationship with your ex, you may choose start negotiation alone or with the assistance of your legal representative. This can be done by way of offers and counter offers, correspondence or face to face conciliation with the assistance of your legal representative or in the collaborative method. The aim is always to achieve a resolution that, although it may not be your most favoured outcome, is one that you can both accept, provides certainty and allows you both to move on with your lives.
- Once an agreement is reached, you must formally document that agreement with legally binding property Orders. This is an essential step. Be warned that just coming to an agreement with your ex is not enough. If the agreement is not formally binding, either you or your ex will be open to make further claims against the other at any time in the future
The agreement can be formalized by either:
- Court Orders made by consent; or
- a Financial Agreement under the Family Law Act.
In either case there is no need for anyone to go to Court and certainly this is the most cost and time effective method to resolve your dispute.