Once you and your former partner have reached an agreement regarding your property settlement it is strongly recommended that agreement be formalised. This is especially the case if your property settlement involves the transfer of a property because the document can be used as an exemption from paying stamp duty.
There are two options available for formalising your property settlement agreement;
- Consent Orders
To obtain Consent Orders there are two documents that need to be prepared, the Application for Consent Orders and the Consent Orders themselves.
The Application outlines the dates of the relationship and breaks down the assets and debts of the parties. It will then provide the division of assets and allows an explanation as to why the division is that particular way. The actual Consent Orders set out the steps required to implement the division of assets outlined in the Application, such as deadlines for making payments or the transfer/sale of a property.
It is extremely important that the Consent Orders correctly reflect the division of assets and the process for doing so. This ensures that there can be no grey areas about which party is supposed to be doing what.
Once these two documents are finalised they are then filed with the Court for review in regards to whether the split of assets is just and equitable. If the Court deems it so then they will stamp and seal the documents thus providing it with a little extra security and difficulty to overturn.
Whilst the Court does approve the contents of this document it is important to note that, while recommended, there is no need for both parties to seek independent legal advice on the contents prior to signing.
- Binding Financial Agreement
A Binding Financial Agreement is required to have been prepared by a solicitor and unlike Consent Orders it needs to outline the background of the relationship. This background explains what the assets of each party were at the commencement of the relationship and what assets currently exist. This gathering of current assets is what we call the “property pool”. The document then explains how the property pool will be divided between the parties.
While this document does not need to be approved by the Court in order for it to be enforceable it must be drafted in the correct format and both parties must also obtain independent legal advice. During the giving of this advice the solicitor will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement and essentially they will act as the Court would when reviewing Consent Orders and determine whether it would be just and equitable for the parties to sign the document.
These types of document are generally utilized in situations where the division of the property pool would not be regarded by a court as fair and equitable.
Contact the office today to arrange an appointment with one of our family law solicitors to assist with determining which method of formalising your property settlement will be best.
We offer FIXED FEE initial consultations for property settlement matters!
Did you know that you can use Consent Orders to outline your parenting agreements too?