Divorce and Property Settlement
When going through a divorce, or the break-up of a de facto relationship, one of the key issues often requiring focused attention is the final legal arrangement regarding jointly owned assets. This is generally known as the “property settlement”. The outcome of Family Court proceedings can have a massive impact on future financial security and should be placed in the hands of experienced, successful lawyers.
As part of the process of the Family Court seeking to make a fair and reasonable decision regarding property, the following matters will be considered:
- The value of current assets, including houses, other property, investment portfolios and superannuation
- The financial contributions by each person during the time of the marriage/relationship.
- Property owned by couples before the relationship. The Court will determine how relevant this is by considering the length of the relationship.
- Financial contributions that each has made directly into the relationship. This includes wages and payments for property.
- The value of non-financial contributions such as renovations and staying at home to look after children.
After extensive deliberation, the Family Court will come to an agreement regarding the proportion of assets that should be given to each couple. Additionally, the Court may order the couple to separate their assets in a particular way.
The Court will issue a financial order to divide a couple’s assets and liabilities on a fair and reasonable basis. To do this, the Court will take into consideration the extent to which each person contributed to the marriage/partnership. Another matter considered by the Court is probable future needs and commitments.
Your lawyers can pre-empt going to Court by negotiating a Financial Agreement or Consent Orders which will deliver a reasonable share of assets. Consent Orders, however, must be approved by the Court.
Before you talk to Roberts Gray Lawyers regarding divorce and related issues, prepare a summary of relevant information. This will allow us to act effectively on your behalf and reduce costs. As well as providing the full names of yourself, your partner and children (along with their contact details), your summary should include the following:
- Details of any current arrangements for children.
- A brief written rundown of your relationship. Make sure you summarise details of property and assets owned when the relationship began.
- Also provide a list of key dates for everybody involved. This should include dates for birthdays, the marriage, the separation etc.
- Details of where you are currently living and your contact information.
- Also tell us where your partner is and whether he/she has a lawyer.
- Full details of your assets and liabilities (including those of your spouse). This should include current bank statements, superannuation details and financial statements for any business.
- A written history of your relationship including property owned at the start of the relationship.
You need to make it clear to your lawyer your thoughts regarding what would be an acceptable outcome and what you think your partner would find acceptable.