If you are going through a divorce or separation, you may have come across the term ‘Form 11’. It is essential to know about Form 11 property settlement in case of a breakdown of your relationship.
What is form 11 property settlement? Form 11 in family law is essentially the applications for consent orders.
Consent orders are orders made by the court, based upon the agreement which two parties have reached. For instance, if two parties decide on a custody arrangement and have mutually agreed with all conditions under the arrangement, they should apply for consent orders by completing Form 11.
A consent order makes these informal plans legally binding. Consent orders are court orders so a breach of the order can also lead to penalties. Form 11 in property settlement is related to consent orders about property settlement or division of assets following divorce or separation.
Form 11 Property Settlement: How To Go About With This?
There are two ways in which property settlement can be finalised: –
- By making agreements and applying for consent orders at the Court; or
- By approaching Family Court and presenting your case to get finalised orders.
Mainly, in complicated separations and where the divorce was not amicable, both parties generally approach the Family Court. In all other cases, both parties are generally able to come up with arrangements themselves.
Both you and your former partner need to firstly reach a mutual agreement on how property and assets are to be divided after the divorce order is finalised. Once this is done, an application for consent order needs to be filled, i.e the Form 11 for property settlement needs to be filled out.
Form 11 for property settlement is preferred by many because otherwise property settlement procedures will take place in the Court, which is often time-consuming and more expensive. This is why if you are able to come up with arrangements with which both you and your ex-partner are happy, it is ideal to apply for consent orders through Form 11.
The Family Law Act allows parties to make arrangements and apply for consent orders for various matters such as child custody arrangements, financial agreements, and property settlement.
In assessing how property is to be divided, it is important to understand what are the assets and liabilities which can be included.
Assets can include the matrimonial house, bank accounts both sole accounts and jointly held accounts, vehicles, superannuation savings, and other investments. On the other hand, liabilities can include personal loans, credit card debts, any mortgages, taxes etc.
How To Reach Agreements About Property Settlement With My Former Partner?
When reaching agreements about property settlement, it is important for both parties to obtain guidance from family lawyers. Both parties have to communicate with each other, and chalk out different plans to finalise division of assets.
Where simple communication does not work, seeking Alternative Dispute Resolution is very important. For instance, attending Family Dispute Resolution with a practitioner helps to facilitate healthy dialogue between both parties where they aim to reach fair property settlement decisions.
Alternatively, arbitration with expert practitioners will also help you reach agreements in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Given below are some examples of the types of agreements which parties may make when deciding settlement matters: –
- One person keeps the home, and all associated loans or mortgages;
- Both parties agree to pay off their own individual debts;
- Both parties agree to keep individual bank accounts and assets with themselves;
- One party decides to split superannuation savings
- Both parties decide to sell the matrimonial home and split the sale proceeds equally among themselves.
Form 11 Property Settlement: How Does The Court Decide?
Once you make agreements, as mentioned above, it is important to apply for consent orders. This is because it makes the order legally binding, so none of the parties can go back on their commitment. Most importantly, consent orders provide certainty, and both parties can rest assured that their property settlement has been finalised.
Many people assume that because property settlement was done based on mutual agreement that the form 11 for property settlement or the consent order application will be approved by the Court immediately.
This is a misconception. This is because although both parties have reached a mutual agreement about division of assets, the Court will still need to assess the application to ensure that property settlement is just and equitable.
The Court will assess and review each document thoroughly, and asses all financial details to check whether the division of assets is fair and just. Notably, in cases where children are involved, the Court will also check if the agreement serves the best interests of the child.
If the Court approves the application, each party will receive a sealed consent order. In case the Court needs more information, it will contact the parties. If the application is not approved because the Court thinks the settlement is not practical, both parties will be contacted.
There are certain time limits which you need to keep in mind if you wish to apply for consent orders related to property settlement.
Parties who were married have 12 months from the date the divorce order was finalised to file all applications related to property settlement. Parties who were in a de facto relationship have 24 months from the date of separation to file all applications related to property settlement.
Family Lawyers’ Advice For Property Settlement
Reaching mutual agreements about division of assets can be complicated. Seeking guidance from leading arbitrators will help each party to resolve issues around division of assets. Family lawyers handle a wide variety of cases on a daily basis,
At JB Solicitors, our lawyers can provide tailored-advice for each case by assessing unique circumstances. By seeking arbitration, both parties can leave it up to a professional to help them finalise property settlement. This is more cost-effective than approaching the Court, and also it saves both parties a lot of time.
For more information, contact our compassionate and experienced team of lawyers today.