This includes the following:
- Separation agreements
- Division of property
- Property sharing agreements
- Section 21 agreements
- Relationship property claims against trusts
- Asset planning and creditor protection
- Contracting out
The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 can often times be a complicated matter. This law is there to assist couples faced with dividing property upon separation and protecting property or assets at the beginning of a relationship.
DIVISION OF PROPERTY
Section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 was introduced to address issues of inequality between partners following a separation. The section empowers the court, following a division of relationship property, to compensate a spouse/partner if his or her living standards and income will be significantly less than the other party because of the division of functions in the relationship.
Typically, this situation arises when one party compromises a career to look after children and/or assist a partner to increase his or her earning capacity.
The following factors are considered:
- The length of the relationship
- The length of the career break
- The length of time required to rectify the break in career path
- The position of the children now and in the future
- The career possibilities available to the disadvantaged person
- The amount of property available for division
Kennelly Law has a wealth of experience in all aspects of the Act, not just economic disparity, but also contributions and maintenance of separate property. We can determine how the status of assets may have improved or deteriorated – depending on the length of the relationship. We will be able to draft a Relationship Property Agreement that caters to our client’s best interest and will ensure that this matter cannot be disputed in the future.
CONTRACTION OUT AGREEMENT (AKA PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT)
It is important to note that under the Property (Relationships) Act, if you and your partner have been together for three years or more, any and all assets that were once the individual property of one party will become relationship property. This means that if a separation should occur, the aforementioned property/assets will become equally divisible.
Contracting Out Agreements are not only for protecting clients who have a considerable amount of assets that they want to keep separate from their partner. It can also be mutually agreed upon document where both parties decide what is fair and how the property should be divided should the relationship come to an end. This will include income earned and property obtained in the future.
And it is particularly important to consider the Act where Trusts are involved and the need to ensure that assets that you may believe are protected by a Trust are able to remain so. Recent authorities suggest a great deal of care needs to be taken when settling trusts during a relationship.
You need to seek legal advice before splitting up your property and assets to ensure that everything is done right the first time, this will save you a lot of grief, heartache and money further down the track if left, please contact us now for a confidential consultation.