There are three ways to have a legally binding property settlement. All three options will allow you to receive an exemption from paying stamp duty if you are wanting to transfer the family home into your own name as part of the property settlement. All three options will also allow you to split superannuation from or to your ex-spouse:
- Consent Orders are usually the cheapest and quickest way to finalise property settlement. Consent Orders are made by a Registrar of the Family Court ‘on the papers’, meaning that you don’t have to go to court in person. You will need to complete an Application for Consent Orders, which details both parties’ information, the proposed division of property and which briefly addresses the parties’ relative contributions to the net asset pool and the parties’ future needs (these are known as ‘justice and equity’ factors in legal-speak). You will also need to complete Minutes of Consent, which are the formal orders you are asking the court to make. Neither person needs to have a lawyer to make Consent Orders. Usually though, one person will have a lawyer to draft the Applicant and Minutes of Consent, which can be difficult for a non-lawyer to write correctly. Provided the Registrar is satisfied that the documents are correct and that the proposed division of property is just and equitable (i.e. fair) the Consent Orders should be approved by the court and can then be implemented.