What you need to know about the property settlement time limit
If you have separated from your husband or wife there is a key family law time limit you should know about.
You have only 12 months from the date of your Divorce to settle your property matters or apply to the Family Law Courts for orders.
De facto couples have two years from the date of separation to do the same.
To ensure you don’t miss the time limit, you should obtain legal advice without delay.
So what happens if you miss the 12 month time limit?
You will need to ask the Court for permission for the time limit to be extended.
The Court may agree if:
- You can show a hardship would be caused to you or a child of the marriage if you were not allowed to apply out of time; or
- For spousal maintenance, you can show you would have been unable to support yourself without government benefits at the time the limit expired.
In a recent case the Family Law Courts allowed an application 26 years after the time limit had expired. Such cases are rare and it is far preferable to settle your property affairs, or apply to the courts, before your time limit expires.
If you wish to obtain a property settlement or spousal maintenance and you are out of time, you should get legal advice as soon as possible.