Property settlement for separated couples can be reached inside or outside court depending on the circumstances. Separating couples usually need to discuss the distribution of the assets and any debts between them. Property can be divided without the court involvement where there is an agreement between the partners. Written consent orders may be obtained from the court.


Where parties do not agree, application can be made to the court seeking financial orders relating to division of property, debt and spousal maintenance. The court may take various considerations into account while making the orders. Depending on the facts and the evidence heard, the judicial officer makes a decision that is just and equitable for the parties.

Time limits apply during which application must be made to the court for property division.

If you’re married, applications for property adjustment must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.

If you were during a de facto relationship, your applications for property adjustment must be made within 2 years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship.

You need to apply for special permission to court if it does not apply within the mentioned time limit. This may not always be granted.

There is no formula that won’t divide your property. Nobody can tell you exactly what orders a judicial officer will make. The choice is formed in any case the evidence is heard and therefore the judicial officer decides what’s just and equitable supporting the unique facts of your case.

The general principles want to settle property disputes are equivalent, no matter whether the parties were during a marriage or a de facto relationship, and are based on:

  • Working out on the basis of what you have got and what you owe which is not limited to the property only, but debt and any other worth to be considered.
  • Looking at the immediate financial impacts by each party to the marriage or de facto relationship, such as wage and salary income.
  • Looking at Inheritance gift or wealth received from family, gifts which are indirect financial contributions
  • Looking at the contributions not limited to financial to the marriage or de facto relationship, such as home duties, caring for children and elders family members in the house.
  • The court will take into account future consideration factors like age, financial resources, health, care of children, and ability to earn going forward

Assets and Debts which are shared between you totally depend on the individual circumstances of the family. Your settlement could be different from others as it depends on individual cases and family circumstances. 

Superannuation is treated as a different type of property by splitting law. Although its not mandatory, It allows separating couples to value their superannuation and split superannuation payments.

Time limits apply during which application must be made to th court for property division.