What happens to all those hard-earned assets is a fundamental question. Getting great legal help is key to ensure the thorough identification, assessment and calculation of all your joint property and entitlements.
One of the most common myths when it comes to considering a property settlement is that marital assets must be divided equally between husband and wife.
However, there is no automatic entitlement to any property, let alone an equal division. There are a number of considerations the Family Courts take into account in determining how the assets of a relationship should be divided.
Firstly, the court considers whether it is just and equitable to make any order for an “adjustment” of property in the first place.
Steps in undertaking your property settlement
In considering whether it would be just and equitable and if so, what orders to make, the court adopts somewhat of a 4 step process:
All assets and liabilities need to be identified. This includes superannuation entitlements, as well as assets held both personally, jointly, in partnership, in trusts, businesses or companies. This step is commonly referred to as ascertaining what’s in the property pool.
Identifying what contributions (if any) each party made to the acquisition or preservation or improvement or maintenance of any asset. This includes not only financial contributions, but also non-financial contributions, and contributions as a parent and homemaker.
The Court then looks to the future to ascertain whether any financial adjustment needs to be considered for the future needs of each party, taking into account matters such as care of children, disparity in earning capacity, health, age and the availability of financial resources.
Finally, the court must consider whether the proposed settlement as a whole is just and equitable.
Get experienced legal help in Melbourne and Sydney
At Australian Family Lawyers, with locations in Sydney as well as Melbourne, we have a team of expert lawyers who are highly experienced in relation to property settlement and other asset matters. We give you advice about your property entitlements, as well as how to formalise any arrangement into a legally binding agreement or Court Order to protect your assets into the future.
Get in touch with us today to discuss how we are able to assist you with property and asset settlement as well as separation matters.
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