Matrimonial and Relationship Property Law


Header Relationship Property Law

Matrimonial and Relationship Property Law deals with protecting or dividing property between spouses, de facto or civil union partners. This can be a sensitive and stressful time for you and your family.

We provide advice on all aspects of matrimonial and relationship law, including protecting your property through a Contracting Out Agreement (also known as a Prenuptial Agreement) before you get married or during your relationship. We also deal with division of matrimonial and relationship property when a relationship ends.

We act in litigation matters, where disputes exist, and appear regularly in the Family and High Courts. But often these matters can be resolved outside of court, so we promote alternative dispute resolution, including mediation. We can assist with negotiations as well as the documenting and implementing of settlements. We usually find that the earlier you get us involved in the process, the less likely it is that matters will end up in court.

Our experienced team can assist you with:

Prenuptial/Contracting out Agreements

Couples can contract out of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 either entirely, or in part, and reach their own agreement on how their property will be divided in the event of a separation. While such agreements are usually drawn up at the beginning, they can be entered into at any time during a relationship. They are useful where one (or each) party already has assets that they wish to protect. There are strict legislative requirements that must be complied with to ensure they are legally binding and enforceable. We can draft the agreement for you, or provide you with advice if you are given an agreement to sign.

Matrimonial Property/Relationship Property Division

Upon a separation or death, the division of relationship property is governed by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. This Act applies to married couples, de facto couples and those in a civil union.

We can advise you on your entitlement under the legislation and negotiate resolution of the division of property. If you can reach agreement on the division of your property then you can enter into a Separation Agreement, which we can draft for you. For an agreement to be legally binding and enforceable, it must comply with the requirements of the legislation.

If it is not possible to reach agreement on the division of property then an application can be made to the Family Court asking the court to divide your property. We can draft the court applications and represent you throughout the process. If necessary, we can also prepare urgent court applications to stop property being sold or disposed of. If you are served with court applications we can assist you in defending the proceedings.