For people who have separated and need to resolve either property settlement matters or parenting matters, it's important to be mindful that there can be time limitations on applying to the Family Court or Family Court of Western Australia. The time limits are as follows:
- For a property settlement or spousal maintenance application following a marriage the time limit expires one year after divorce;
- For a property settlement or spousal maintenance application following a de facto relationship, the time limit expires two years after separation; and
- For a parenting matter, there are no time limitations.
For people who were married and have separated but not divorced, there's no time limit on applying to the Family Court.
While time limitations are only one of a number of matters which must be considered prior to applying to the Court, they are an important factor.
In circumstances where the time limitation has expired, for property settlement or spousal maintenance, the Court may allow leave to bring proceedings out of time, but only in limited circumstances.
Where there is a dispute as to the date of separation, those wishing to file in the Family Court or Family Court of Western Australia for de facto property settlement should be mindful that this may have an impact upon time limitations.