what is my deadline to apply for a property settlement?
The time limit for asking a Family Law Court to enter a financial order depends on whether you are divorced or whether your de facto relationship broke down
Family Law courts have the authority to make property settlements for couples who have divorced and for those whose de facto relationships have broken down. A key component of a property settlement is the division of property.
You request a property settlement by filing an application for a financial order with a Family Law Court. Time limits apply to that application. This article will explain how those time limits apply to you.
The dispute resolution requirement
Before you can apply to a Family Law Court for a financial order, you must try to reach an agreement to resolve your differences. If you cannot negotiate a satisfactory property division with your former spouse or partner, you will need to seek the assistance of a dispute resolution service.
Time limits if you divorce
You can apply for a financial order before, during, or after a divorce, provided you comply with the dispute resolution requirement. Under ordinary circumstances, you must apply for a financial order (including a consent order) before the expiration of 12 months after your divorce order becomes final.
After 12 months, you need to obtain the court’s permission to apply for a financial order. Since the court may deny your request to file a late application, you should make every effort to file before the 12 month deadline expires.
Time limits if your de facto relationship breaks down
You can apply for a financial order after your de facto relationship breaks down, although you will first need to satisfy the dispute resolution requirement. You generally have the right to apply for a financial order within 2 years after the breakdown of your de facto relationship.
After 2 years, you need to obtain the court’s permission to apply for a financial order.
Applications after the deadline expires
If the deadline has expired, you must obtain leave of the court to apply for a financial order. The court can only grant leave for late filing if it finds:
- that hardship would be caused to a party or child if leave is denied, or
- in the case of an application seeking maintenance, that the applicant was incapable of self-support at the end of the time period during which the application could have been filed without the court’s permission.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.