Often when relationships are formed, property boundaries become blurred. One party to the relationship may have tended to accrue more debt, and the other the hard worker who tended to save any spare funds. One party may have been the ‘breadwinner’ while the other the ‘stay at home’ parent who cared for the family?
Whatever your family’s situation, these factors are all considerations a Court will have in determining a division in property after separation.
There is no precise formula used to divide your property.
The decision is made after all the evidence is heard and the Judicial Officer decides what is just and equitable based on the unique facts of your case.
The Family Law Act 1975 sets out the general principles the court considers when deciding financial disputes after the breakdown of a marriage (see Sections 79(4)and 75(2)) or a de-facto relationship (see Sections 90SM(4) and 90SF(3)).
The general principles can be summarised as follows: –
- Determining what you have and what you owe, that isyour assets and debts and what they are worth;
- A review of the direct financial and non-financialcontributions made by each party to the relationship;
- A review of indirect financial contributions made byeach party such as inheritances, gifts etc;
- future requirements – a court will take into accountthings like age, health, financial resources, care ofchildren and ability to earn.
If you find yourself in a position where you are contemplating separation but aren’t sure how to go about it, or, if you have separated and are wanting to know your rights – contact us!