Negotiating a property settlement, in contemplation of entering into a new relationship or following the breakdown of one, can be complicated especially when this conjures up fear about your financial future and ensuring you get it right. Regardless, if you’re amicable, heading into mediation or the collaborative process, negotiating with lawyers, or end up in court, the steps are the same to get you to an agreement:

Step 1: What do you own & owe?

Your house (and mortgage), company/business/trust assets, savings (and credit card debt), shares and investments and superannuation.

Start gathering your financial documents now eg: market appraisals for property owned, bank & loan statements, share statements, superannuation statements, company & business financials - you both have an obligation to exchange this information.

Step 2: What did you both contribute?

Contributions are both financial (income earned and assets owned) and non-financial (your roles as homemaker and caring for children). We look at three points in time, the beginning, during your relationship and after separation.

Gather your documents to evidence what you owned at the beginning of your relationship or if you have received an inheritance

Step 3: What do you need for the future?

Your ages, state of health, income earning capacities and care of your children are all taken into account in this step.

Make sure you have your recent tax returns and pay slips ready for exchange

Step 4: What is legally fair?

Once your asset pool is agreed and your respective contributions and future needs are assessed, we will provide legal advice around what is legally fair at law.

Legally fair doesn’t always translate into what is morally fair or fair to you

Once an agreement is reached, it must be documented in either a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders to ensure you have a legally binding and enforceable agreement. Don’t make the mistake and proceed with an informal agreement as this may have serious and expensive repercussions in the future.

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