Is divorce different to matrimonial property division?
Yes, they are different, and this is important because different time limits apply.
Separate Court applications need to be filed for divorce and property adjustment.
Before spouses can apply for divorce, they must have been separated for 12 months.
Separated spouses do not have to wait 12 months to apply for Court orders which have the effect of finally resolving the division of assets such as properties, savings, shares and superannuation in a binding manner.
Once negotiated, Court orders by consent can be applied for immediately.
The risks of waiting for an extended period before addressing property division after separation can include:
• Increased difficulty in identifying the assets and liabilities of the marriage.
• Increased risk of assets being removed, spent or adjusted so it is more complex and expensive to adjust.
• Impact upon assets, in particular businesses.
• Missed investment opportunities as immediately post-separation steps should be taken to protect all joint assets such that a joint agreement is required to deal with those assets.
• Delays in moving forward financially.
Liz Catton is a Director and family law specialist at Catton & Tondelstrand Lawyers and has been recommended as a Leading Family and Divorce Lawyer for the Sunshine Coast on the Doyle’s list in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and 2021.