Married couples that separate can formalise a Property Settlement at any time after separation. There is no requirements that the parties need to be Divorced at the time of the Property Settlement. However, once parties are Divorced there is a 12 month limitation period that applies. This means if you are not able to reach an agreement with your separated spouse, you need to file an Initiating Application with the Court before the 12 month limitation period expires.
For de facto relationships there is a time limit of 24 months after the date of separation.
Some exceptions apply to these limitations, however, you should assume that the limitation period will not be extended. It is, therefore, important to speak to a Solicitor about negotiating a property settlement or filing Court proceedings before the time limitation period runs out.