Step one: Identify all assets and liabilities that are available for division. Properties, bank accounts, motor vehicles, jewellery, superannuation entitlements, shares etc., are considered assets. This includes assets held either in your sole name, or jointly with your partner or any third party. Do not forget to include assets that you or your partner may have overseas. Liabilities are any debts that you or your partner may have, whether personal or with a bank or an entity.
Step two: The next step is to consider the following contributions made by both you and your partner, at the commencement of the relationship, during the relationship and after separation.
a) Financial Contributions;
b) Non-Financial Contributions; and
c) Contributions as a parent/homemaker.
Financial Contributions are any monetary contributions made by you or your partner. It could be the income you earned during the relationship, any assets owned at the commencement of your relationship, any inheritances or gifts acquired, any property acquired solely from one’s savings/income earned.
Non-financial Contributions are contributions by you or your partner that might have assisted in increasing the value of any asset. It could be any renovation or landscaping done on a property or even any unpaid work done at a family business.
Contributions as parent/homemaker could be the grocery shopping, care for children/elderly, all household chores or any other general parenting responsibilities.
Step three: The next step is to consider what the future needs of both parties are. Some of the factors the Family Court in Australia will consider are age, state of health, current income, future earning capacity, current & future parenting responsibilities.
Step four: Depending on the circumstances, the Court might consider whether it ‘just and equitable’ to consider an adjustment in favour of an individual, prior to even considering the individual contributions.
However, be aware that there is no strict formula for property division, and it differs from case to case. Accordingly, we advise that you obtain legal advice prior to entering into an agreement with your partner.
If you are struggling and wish for some assistance in settling your property division and severing your financial relationship with your partner, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8917 8700.