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Ex Husband Delaying Property Settlement In Australia?

mother and child

The process of divorce is often emotionally and financially challenging, and when it comes to dividing assets and settling financial matters, it can become even more complex. In Australia, the Family Court plays a vital role in determining property settlement after a divorce. However, delays in property settlement can occur due to various reasons, and one of the most common issues faced by individuals is the ex-spouse intentionally prolonging the process.


The Importance of Property Settlement after Divorce


Property settlement is a crucial aspect of divorce, ensuring that assets and liabilities are distributed fairly between the former spouses. The Family Court of Australia operates under the principle of achieving a “just and equitable” division of property, taking into account various factors such as the financial and non-financial contributions of both parties, future needs, and the welfare of any children involved.

Delays in Property Settlement: Causes and Consequences

One of the most frustrating and distressing situations during divorce proceedings is encountering delays in property settlement. Such delays can be attributed to various factors, including the complexity of the assets involved, the parties’ inability to reach an agreement, lack of cooperation, and sometimes, intentional stalling by one of the ex-spouses.


  • Complexity of Assets: When a couple has amassed a significant amount of assets, such as real estate, businesses, investments, or superannuation funds, the process of valuing and dividing them can become time-consuming.
  • Disputes and Lack of Cooperation: If the ex-spouses are unable to agree on the division of assets, the matter might be brought before the Family Court, leading to delays as the court resolves the disputes.
  • Financial Benefit from Delays: In some cases, one party may intentionally prolong the property settlement to gain financial advantages or exert control over the other party.

Prolonged legal battles can take a toll on the emotional well-being of both parties, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition, delays in finalising your property settlement can leave both parties in financial limbo, affecting their ability to move on with their lives and make necessary financial decisions.


Further, when property settlement delays affect the financial stability of the parties involved, it can also have an adverse effect on the children’s well-being as an ex husband may also hold back on your spousal maintenance.

Financial Settlement After Divorce Time Limit

In Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 governs the rules and procedures for property settlement after divorce. Under this Act, there is no specific time limit for initiating property settlement proceedings. However, it is essential to be aware of two critical time limits related to the process:


  • Before initiating property settlement proceedings, a divorce order must be granted. The time limit for filing a divorce application is one year from the date of separation. Once the divorce is granted, parties have 12 months to apply for property settlement and division of the asset pool.
  • After the divorce is finalised, there is a 12-month time limit to commence proceedings for property settlement proceedings in the Family Court. If this time limit is exceeded, special permission from the court will be required, which may not be granted in all cases.

Even if the deadline has passed, you can request the court to consider your request for property settlement. But remember, you’ll have to get the court’s permission first, and it’s not guaranteed they’ll say yes.


To do this, you’ll need to show the court:


  • You have a strong reason for wanting a property settlement order.
  • You or a child from the marriage will face difficulties if you’re not allowed to apply for property settlement.
  • You have a good reason for not starting the process within the set time limit.

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Legal Options for Resolving Property Settlement Disputes

To avoid lengthy delays and court battles, ex-spouses are encouraged to explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to resolve property settlement matters. Some common ADR options include:




Mediation involves a neutral third party assisting the ex-spouses in negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement. It is a less adversarial and more cost-effective approach compared to court litigation.


Collaborative Law


In collaborative law, each party is represented by a family lawyer, and they work together to reach an agreement without going to court. The focus is on cooperation and problem-solving.




In arbitration, a private arbitrator is appointed to make a binding decision on the property settlement matter. It is a faster and more flexible process than traditional court proceedings.

Legal Advice and Support

During property settlement proceedings, it is crucial for individuals to seek legal advice from experienced family lawyer in Sydney.


Divorce is never easy, and delays in property settlement can add to the emotional and financial strain faced by both parties. Understanding the financial settlement after divorce time limit in the Family Court of Australia is essential to ensure that one’s rights are protected.


Ex-spouses should aim to resolve their property disputes amicably, either through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods, to avoid unnecessary delays and legal expenses.


Seeking legal advice from our top family lawyers in Sydney at Lyons Law Group can make the property settlement process smoother and lead to a fair and just resolution for both parties involved. Contact us today.

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