My wife and I married in the late 1990's and separated a few months ago. Neither of us has filed for divorce and we may well remain married but separated. How soon can our assets be divided?


If your marital assets are registered in joint names,these can be divided up without further delay, even if you remain married. If, however, they are registered in only one of your names, and you remain married, but separated,you will need either mutual consent to divide up your financial partnership in them, or you will have to wait a minimum of nine months from the time of your separation until they can be divided. Until a November 2008 amendment to the 1973 Spouses' Property Relations ACt, couples marrying on or after 1.1.74, like you, had to wait until divorce or death before assets registered in only one party's name could be divided, if there was no mutual consent.

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