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Family & Relationship Law 06 May 2020

Don’t wait too long to apply for the division of your property after divorce or separation.

You may not be aware but there are time limits that apply to applications for the division of property following a divorce or separation.

This is important because missing these deadlines may make matters substantially harder which I will discuss later in the article.

What are the time limits for applying for a division of property?

For married couples one year from the date of a Divorce Order coming into effect and for defacto or same sex couples two years from the date of separation.

If you are still within these time limits then the time to act is sooner rather than later and lodge you application in the court prior to the deadline date.

What if I have missed the time limit?

If you want to make an Application to the Court for the division of the property of your marriage or your relationship outside of the 12 month period after divorce or two years after the date of if you were in a defacto relationship, the court will need to give you permission to make the application.

This means that the Court will need to approve that you are entitled to make an Application when you did not make the Application within the required time frames.

If you find yourself in a position where you have not divided the property of your marriage or your relationship within the time limits, it does not mean that you will not be able to proceed with making an Application to the Court but you will have to convince the Court that you will suffer hardship if you are not able to divide the property of your marriage or relationship.

The Judge will need to be satisfied that hardship would be caused to either you as the person applying for the property division or a child of your marriage or relationship if you were not allowed to proceed with your Application for property division. If the Court decides that you would not suffer hardship you will not be able to proceed with your Application.

In other words, you will need to show to the Court that you would suffer substantial detriment if the Court did not hear your case.

You will also be required to demonstrate to the Court that you have a reasonable claim against your former partner which has some chance of success.

If there is a property in joint names you will immediately be entitled to pursue your claim for a property division.

What should I do next in regard to my property division application?

If you believe you are outside the time limits as detailed above please contact our Family & Relationship Law Team as soon as possible to discuss what is required to establish hardship and whether you are likely to be successful in making an Application out of time.

Anne O’Loughlin.
Anne O’Loughlin Managing Principal Family & Relationship Law View profile
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