Property Settlement pt3 – Time Limitations

Sep 6, 2021

Property Settlement (pt 3) – Time Limitations


In our Property Settlement part 2 article I said that you don’t need a court order to divide your property.  Simply write out what you have agreed with your wife / husband / partner then have it redrawn by a lawyer and once it is signed that is it, done.

Although these agreements have legal limitations, they also have the advantage that they are quick and cheap.  I can produce one of these for you within the week.  But, if you cannot agree how to split your property, then you will need a court order.

There are time limitations to initiate court orders.

De-facto couples must bring proceedings within 24 months of the date of separation.

There is a catch though: your rights will expire after 24 months even if you didn’t know that time was running against you.  After that time, you will require leave of the court to take proceedings for a court ordered property settlement.

Married couples have a deadline of 12 months from the date your divorce orders are finalised.   Note though, this is 12 months from the date your divorce is final, which is 1 month and 1 day after the Courts grant your divorce. So, in effect you have 13 months and 1 day from the date of your divorce hearing to commence proceedings without needing the leave of the court to take those proceedings.

Another catch: if you haven’t legally divorced then the right of the other party to bring property proceedings just continues on and on.  This means that any property or assets you obtain after your separation will still be considered an asset of the relationship if property proceedings are brought against you by your ex.

If you want to stop your ex having rights to your property in the future, get a divorce!

In both cases, if your deadline has passed there are still limited circumstances in which the court will extend time.   Visit me at Northside Lawyers for a no cost first interview and we can discuss your circumstances.

CAUTION: This article contains general information of public interest only and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon as, legal advice specific to the reader’s personal circumstances. Should you have a legal matter, please seek professional advice before acting or relying on this content.