The separation process in Australia comprises of three parts, being Divorce, Parenting arrangements, and Financial matters. Over the last two months we’ve written about divorce and parenting matters. We now finish up this mini-series by discussing about property division.
When it comes to property, family law considers that everything owned by the parties, whether in a single name or in joint names, are joint assets of the relationship. This creates a “property pool”. The question then becomes – how should this pool of assets be divided?
The Family Law Act says that property division must be on a fair and equitable basis. When considering what is fair and equitable you should consider the following:
- What each party contributed financially (whether directly or indirectly) towards the acquisition, conservation, or improvement of the property pool
- What each party contributed non-financially (whether directly or indirectly) towards the acquisition, conservation, or improvement of the property pool
- What each party contributed towards the welfare of the family
- How a proposed division would affect the parties – it will cause financial hardship to one party or cause a reduction in their ability to earn money?
- The amount of child support to be paid, if any
In addition to the above, there is a further list of individual requirements that should be considered, including:
- The age and state of health of the parties
- Their respective incomes and financial resources, and their ability to get employment
- Who would normally take care of the children
- Their respective commitments and responsibilities
- If they can get assistance, superannuation, or pensions.
- Whether their standards of living will be reasonable
- Maintenance to be paid
Take these principles into account when considering what your financial settlement should look like. If you or someone you know are considering going through this process, give us a call – we can give you legal advice in relation to what steps you need to take and what options are available for you.
Join us next time for our next blog post on these matters.