Can My Ex Wife Claim Money After Divorce in Australia?

divorce document

If you’re wondering whether your ex-wife can claim money from you or your new partner after your divorce, or how long after separation she can make a claim, the answer depends on a few different factors.


Property settlements in Australia are governed by the Family Law Act 1975, which sets out the rules and procedures for dividing assets and debts after a marriage or de facto relationship ends. This law applies to all married couples and de facto couples who have lived together for at least two years, or have a child together.

What does Divorce mean in Australia?

In Australia, divorce refers to the legal dissolution of a marriage. It is a formal process that ends a marriage and frees both parties to remarry.


To apply for a divorce in Australia, at least one party must have been separated from their spouse for at least 12 months and the marriage must have irretrievably broken down. The application is made to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and the court will grant a divorce and make a court order if it is satisfied that the legal requirements have been met.


After the divorce is granted, the parties are free to legally marry again. The divorce may also have implications for the division of property, child custody and support arrangements, and other legal issues related to the former marriage.

How Long After Separation Can You Claim Property in Australia?

As for how long after separation your ex-wife can make a claim on your property, the answer is generally within 12 months of your divorce being finalised. That is the usual time limit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, particularly if there are significant changes in your financial circumstances or if there was a significant delay in resolving the property settlement. In these cases, your ex-wife may be able to make a claim outside the 12-month time frame.


Property settlements in Australia are based on a principle of “just and equitable” division, which means that each party’s contributions to the relationship (financial and non-financial) are taken into account when dividing assets and debts. This can include things like income, assets, superannuation, and debts, as well as non-financial contributions like caring for children or maintaining the family home. It is always best to agree to a settlement agreement during you separation.


A settlement agreement between parties does not become legally binding and final until an Application for Consent Orders has been submitted to the Court and the Court has made the requested orders. Alternatively, the parties can choose to establish a binding financial agreement to avoid the Court’s scrutiny of the settlement agreement.


In the absence of an order from the Court or a binding financial agreement, either party can go back on the settlement agreement and make a property claim against the other. This can occur even years after separation or divorce, despite both parties having agreed previously to keep their respective assets.

Can My Ex Claim Money From My New Partner in Australia?

In terms of whether your ex-wife can claim money from your new partner, the short answer is no, she cannot. Your new partner’s assets and income are generally not considered in property settlements, unless they were acquired during your previous relationship or there are other exceptional circumstances. However, if you and your new partner are living together or have joint assets, this could potentially complicate matters and it may be wise to seek legal advice.

How Can I Protect my Assets after a Divorce in Australia?

Protecting assets after a divorce in Australia can be a complex process and will depend on various factors such as the type of assets you have and the specific circumstances of your divorce. However, there are several steps you can take to protect your assets:


  1. Prenuptial Agreement: You can protect your assets before marriage by creating a prenuptial agreement with your spouse. A prenuptial written agreement is a legal agreement that outlines how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.
  2. Financial Agreement: You can also protect your assets by entering into a financial agreement with your spouse. This agreement outlines how assets will be divided if the relationship ends, including in the event of a divorce.
  3. Separate Property: You can also protect your assets by keeping them separate from marital property. This means keeping assets that you acquired before the marriage, inherited, or gifted assets to you during the marriage separate from marital property.
  4. Business Structure: If you own a business, you can protect your assets by structuring your business in a way that separates business assets from personal assets. For example, you could set up a trust.
  5. Seek Legal Advice: Finally, it is essential to seek legal advice from a family lawyer who can provide you with tailored advice on how to protect your assets in your specific situation.

Overall, the rules around property settlements and financial claims after divorce can be complex, and it’s important to seek legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations. By working with experienced family lawyers in Sydney, you can help ensure that your financial interests are protected and that you can move on from your divorce with confidence. Contact a family lawyer at Lyons Law Group immediately.

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