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fighting hard to get you the best settlement you are entitled to.

Adelaide Lawyers has an experienced Family Law Property team – able to take on matters from the most straight forward Consent Orders to the most complicated matters involving taxation issues, companies and trusts, and division of major investment portfolios.

Our prices don't reflect the quality of service that you will receive from a Family Lawyer with experience working previously as an accountant. A great deal of knowledge of business and investment structures, business values, property ownership and development, cars and classic cars will be used to get you an outstanding resolution.

We are strong negotiators and if we can reach a fair settlement without you bearing the costs of Court, we will negotiate strongly on your behalf. Our negotiation skills benefit from years of experience in both law and other fields such as taxation, business and property.

Lawyer and former managing accountant Karen Karykis heads our family law property team  – fighting hard to get you the best settlement you are entitled to.

Our first priority is to try and negotiate your matter for you and to keep you out of Court.

Adelaide Lawyers is here to help, and we offer a free first interview to provide you with advice regarding your legal options.


We don't charge by time but our first 30 minutes with you is FREE of charge.

To help you cope financially if times are difficult we offer Fixed Fees that can be paid via a payment plan or from settlement proceeds at the end of your matter.

Call us on (08) 7231 6000 to arrange your free consult now OR email

Adelaide Lawyers is here to help, and we offer a free first interview to provide you with advice regarding your legal options.

As one of Adelaide’s most recognised family law firms, Adelaide Lawyers deals with a large number of Family Law children’s matters, and property disputes.

Failure to properly draw up your division of assets following separation may result in legal uncertainty regarding the ownership of your property. You may remain liable for future claims and also for stamp duty when you transfer property from or to your former partner. This can often be avoided if a property settlement is legally executed.

Note that time limits apply for an application for property division or settlement. Applications may be out of time 12 months after a divorce becomes final, or 24 months following the conclusion of a de-facto relationship. A late application can only be made with special permission of the court.


We usually begin our handling of property matters by negotiation with your former partner to determine whether or not agreement by consent is possible.

If you are in agreement with your former partner regarding a division of assets, an expertly drafted Consent Order is usually the most simple and cost-effective way to make that agreement legally enforceable. If you are not in agreement, Property Settlement Court Proceedings may be required.

Initially, we therefore usually ask for your authorisation and funding simply to determine whether or not we can reach an agreement. Once those negotiations have taken place, we will ask for your approval for the next stage of work, being either the preparation of a Binding Financial Agreement or the initiation of Property Settlement Court Proceedings.


If you have not yet attended a meeting to draft a Financial Consent Order, and depending on your individual circumstances, you may be requested to bring your:

  1. income tax records;

  2. bank statements;

  3. superannuation account statements;

  4. information regarding any shares, stocks, or bonds;

  5. trust fund statements and all company records relating to those trusts and their assets such as the involvement of all third parties and their relationship to the trust/company, and taxation, profit and loss statements for the trust/company;

  6. information regarding any real estate held by your or your former partner, whether in Australia and/or overseas, and – if already available – valuations for same;

  7. personal property holdings of any significant value whether Australian and/or overseas, with any available valuations (ie. Red Book valuations for motor cars);

  8. a statement of all of your liabilities including but not limited to Maintenance and Child Support Agreements and Assessments by the Child Support Agency, credit cards, store cards, personal loans, mortgages, personal and/or corporate taxation debts and contingent liabilities under contracts with third parties;


A Binding Financial Agreement is a written agreement which complies with Part VIIIA of the Family Law Act. It can provide a ‘clean break’, financially speaking, between you and your former partner.

The agreement specifies how the assets, liabilities and superannuation of the parties to a marriage or de facto relationship will be dealt with in the event of separation. It can cover all property, including items owned prior to the relationship and those acquired during it, or can be restricted to a specific item or class of assets (for example, an inheritance, or real estate assets). Future claims for spousal maintenance can also specifically be excluded.

The agreement can be made before a relationship is entered into (and is sometimes called a ‘prenuptial agreement’), during a relationship, or after its breakdown.

The agreement specifically requires both parties to agree to resolve the division of assets without resorting to the Family Law Courts. As such, no Court hearings are required and no Court lodgment fees need be paid – which means that it is often the most cost effective means of resolving property settlements.


To be valid, a Binding Financial Agreement must comply with these requirements:

  • It must be signed by all parties;

  • Before signing the Agreement, each party must be provided with independent legal advice as to the effect of the Agreement on their rights and the advantages and disadvantages of making the Agreement;

  • Each party must be provided with a signed statement from a lawyer confirming the advice was provided; and

  • A copy of the statement confirming that advice was provided must be exchanged between the parties and/or their legal representatives.


Binding Financial Agreements can only be set aside in very specific circumstances, including:

  • Fraud, including material non-disclosure (such as failure to disclose the existence of or true value of a significant asset);

  • If a party entered into the agreement for the purpose of defrauding or defeating a creditor;

  • If the agreement is not prepared properly and in accordance with the legislation;

  • If circumstances arise after the agreement which make it impossible or impracticable to be carried out, in whole or part;

  • If an unforseen material change in circumstances occurs after the making of the agreement, relating to the care, welfare and development of a child of the relationship and, as a result, a party to the agreement will suffer hardship;

  • If a party’s conduct in the making of the agreement was unconscionable;

  • If a “payment flag” is operating on a superannuation interest covered by the Agreement and is unlikely to be terminated by a “flag lifting”; or

  • If the Agreement covers at least one superannuation interest that is an “indivisible interest”.



Your lawyer will fully explain to you the specific benefits and limitations of Binding Financial Agreements in contrast to alternative options.


For example, another legally enforceable way to distribute assets is by way of a ‘Consent Order‘. This is a similar type of written agreement specifying the division of assets following the breakdown of a relationship, but differs from a Binding Financial Agreement in a number of ways.

  1. Consent Orders must be filed with the Family Court, and are approved by the court. This means that Consent Orders can be more expensive, given that Court fees may be involved.

  2. Further, the court will only give its approval if it considers the orders to be “fair, just and equitable”.


Despite that, there are certain situations in which Consent Orders are the most appropriate solution.


Our fees to prepare a Financial Consent Order are usually fixed at $1980.

Most Binding Financial Agreements are prepared for this fee, which includes:

• The cost of taking your initial instructions;
• Preparation of the Binding Financial Agreement;
• Execution of the required Solicitor’s Certificate;
• Forwarding the agreement to the other side; and
• the preparation of up to two minor amendments to the agreement.

The fixed costs do not involve any solicitor negotiations with the other side, and do not guarantee that the other side will agree to your proposal. You should only request the preparation of a Binding Financial Agreement if you have reached consent with your former partner regarding a division of assets.

In cases where Property Settlement Court Proceedings are required, we offer a first free interview to discuss your case – during which time you will be provided with an obligation free quote to commence proceedings.


Binding Financial Agreements and Consent Orders can only be entered into if you are in agreement. Sometimes, negotiation is necessary before parties come to consent. At other times, there is no possibility of agreement regarding a division of assets and we will be required to bring an Application to the Family Law Courts to help decide the issue. Whatever is required to resolve a division of assets for you, Adelaide Lawyers can assist.


Call us for an obligation free appointment to find out how we can quickly, calmly, and cost-effectively prepare a legally enforceable redistribution of assets for you – (08) 7231 6000.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation



             08 7231 6000



             PO Box 10167

             Adelaide BC 5000

             138 South Terrace

             Adelaide SA 5000




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