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In reality, division of assets after separation in Australia is based on a concept known as “just and equitable”. Under the Australian Family Law, the Court will consider various factors such as the financial circumstances of each party, each party’s contributions towards raising children, and their financial and non-financial contributions to the family.
When couples separate, there is no automatic law that divides all assets equally 50/50. Assessing the rights of each party requires a complex process and careful examination by a skilled family lawyer using the legal framework as a guide. Each party’s contributions to the marriage or relationship are assessed, and the future needs of both parties are taken into account.
Keep reading to learn more about property division in divorce in Australia.
These lists are not exhaustive and are merely illustrative of common scenarios. Each person has a unique situation requiring its own assessment. The legal method of determining asset division provides a process for handling assets, debts, superannuation, and financial resources at the end of a marriage or relationship.
Initially, the assets and debts of both parties, including superannuation and other financial resources, must be identified and valued. All assets, whether acquired before the relationship, during the relationship, or after separation (regardless of sole or joint ownership), are included. The valuation is done at the time of asset division, not at the time of separation.
In the second stage, an assessment is made of how each party contributed to the acquisition of assets. This assessment includes:
Any asset owned before the start of a marriage or relationship is considered an initial contribution. Then, an evaluation of the future needs of the parties is undertaken to allow for adjustments. Generally, the party with greater future needs receives an adjustment in their favour. For example, if one party has primary care responsibilities for young children, they may receive an adjustment. Ultimately, a determination is made as to whether the proposed division of assets, debts, superannuation, and financial resources is just and equitable.
Both parties should consult with independent lawyers to seek advice in relation to their rights in a family law property matter. If you have further questions regarding property division in divorce in Australia and if property is split 50/50 in divorce, call us directly or request a call back from our friendly team by filling out the form below.
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