It's often difficult to come to an amicable agreement when trying to split various items of property during divorce proceedings. Certainly money and value can affect the mind, and two people who would otherwise consider themselves to be very reasonable may not be able to see eye to eye. When matters get in front of an Australian court, how do the judges determine "who will get what" during property settlement?
The Typical Approach
As this is a fairly common issue, law courts across the country have access to some settled law that typically asks several different questions when a case is brought up.
Firstly, they will want to know the full extent of the issue and determine how much property is contained within the "pool." They will look at the registered owner of each piece of property and figure out its current value and will then need to know how much money is outstanding against each, if applicable.
During the next step, questions will be asked to figure out how each party has contributed to the betterment of each piece of property in different ways. Of course, financial contribution is primary, and this will include money that has been injected during the relationship by either of the parties, as well as contributions that were made before the marriage began. Every type of input will be considered, including resources that may have materialised from windfalls or inheritances, as well as regular deductions from salary.
Non-financial contributions are considered to be those made by one or or the other party to the betterment of the assets. For example, this could include the physical labour related to home renovation or the effort put in on a daily basis to make the home a better place. The court will also need to hear about contributions that have been made by any party since they separated.
Other factors will then be taken into consideration, such as the future needs of each party in relation to their age, health and pension eligibility. The court will want to know whether resources will be needed to take care of any children and how any independent property or financial resources may affect these calculations.
The Ultimate Goal
The court will always aim to be reasonable when coming to a conclusion but will be especially wary if one of the parties is to be named as the carer of any children moving forward. They will strive to achieve a "just and equitable" result when splitting up assets, liabilities and other financial resources.
Making a Claim
This can be a very complicated area to manoeuvre, and each side should put forward a strong and robust case. To make sure that you are adequately covered, always work with an experienced lawyer in this field.
For more information or advice, contact a divorce lawyer.Share
8 November 2017
Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.