Case Study: Helping A Time-Critical Property Settlement Over The Line

Helping A Time-Critical Property Settlement Over The Line
A recent property case of ours involved two separated parties who had reached agreement without lawyers for one to acquire the other side’s share in the former family home. 

At Ryan & Seton Lawyers, we deal with a variety of family law property settlement matters all the time, and we can deliver favourable results for our clients, no matter the complexity.

Family law requires expert knowledge of the various Acts and legislation, and we know how this information applies to each individual client in order to obtain the best outcome.

In Australia, up to 33% of marriages end in divorce, and countless more relationships fail. 

According to the Family Law Act, “no fault divorce” entered into force in 1975, which was a reform that removed the cause of the breakdown from one’s ability to obtain a divorce. 

In Australia, 49,116 divorces were granted in 2019. Despite the ongoing decline in divorce rates, the average is now 1.9 divorces per 1,000 people, down from 2.8 divorces per 1,000 people in 1999.

Separation and divorce rates could increase in the coming months and years, depending on the extent of the pandemic and economic challenges.

Another survey by Relationships Australia a year ago found that 42% of respondents stated that isolation negatively affected their relationship.

Married individuals or couples are more likely to be in better financial shape than those who are divorced, widowed, or never married. In terms of cash savings, they have more than any other group ($35,898).

Client Story

A recent case of ours involved two separated parties who had reached agreement without lawyers for one to acquire the other side’s share in the former family home. 

The “purchasing” party obtained finance with an expiration period of approximately three weeks, together with advice that they needed a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) fully signed and dated to avoid stamp duty on the property transfer. 

Not only did this require the swift production of a BFA meeting the strict technical requirements of the Family Law Act, but also both parties obtaining legal advice on it. 

Property Settlement Issues

The need to produce a fully signed BFA within three weeks to avoid the loss of finance approval and attract a stamp duty exemption meant we had to act swiftly and decisively.

We also had to navigate the need to coordinate with another law firm to ensure that the document could be reviewed, approved and advice given on it within the tight timeframe.  

What We Did

We were able to produce the draft document in a matter of days. 

We then contacted a range of other law firms to ask whether they could take the matter on and meet the timeframe. 

Our office provided the names of three other law firms who indicated that they could do so to the other party.

As a result, we provided the draft document to the solicitor of the other side’s choosing.

The Outcome

  • The BFA was able to be fully signed and dated within two and a half weeks. 
  • The “purchasing” party did not lose their finance approval. 
  • The parties avoided stamp duty.
  • Each of the parties was able to move on with the next stage of their lives after achieving a swift and amicable settlement. 

For all your family law concerns, please contact Ryan & Seton Lawyers – our friendly team will be happy to advise you, or take on as much of the process as you need to make it a little less stressful for you.

Property Settlement Related Links

Essential Guide To Divorce In Australia

NSW State Library: The Law Handbook (PDF)

Supreme Court of NSW: Binding Or Bound To Fail? (PDF)

Relationships Australia: A Fair Share (PDF)

Children and family law

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia



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