How are the assets of a relationship divided after a relationship breaks down?

A relationship, whether it is a marriage or a de-facto relationship, inevitably builds up assets over time. When it ends, a big question hanging over everyone’s head is “how will the property be divided?”

In most cases, parties are able to agree on how the property will be divided. There are a variety of ways how to formalise this agreement, however the easiest way of doing so is to ask the Family Court to make a “consent order” formalising the agreement between the parties.

Any agreement made should consider:

  • The value of all of the property and financial resources of the parties, including what they brought into the relationship. These include things like real estate, bank accounts, investments, and superannuation. 
  • All liabilities of the parties. 
  • What each party is earning.
  • What each party contributed, both financially and non-finally, to the relationship.
  • What each party is responsible for, both financially and non-financially.
  • The age and health of the parties. 
  • What each party needs to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
  • And a whole lot of other circumstances as set out in the Family Law Act. 

Parties should also try to come to an agreement before going to court for anything. The court will consider all of the above matters, however it might come to a different conclusion than what the parties might come up with. In addition to this, engaging a solicitor and going through litigation will only further deplete the asset pool.