Property Division

Relationship breakdown is often very overwhelming and can be a traumatic time of your life. When a marriage or de-facto relationship comes to an end, division of the parties property will have to be done.

Who gets what when it comes to property and separation?

The property that either you or your ex-spouse have under the Family Law Act is considered property of the relationship. This is a complex area of law that can be very confusing. Without proper legal advice regarding property, division parties can often finalise their separation and divorce and be in a much worse financial position than they ever intended or imagined.

When it comes to your financial security, your home, superannuation, trusts, investment properties, shares, other investments and business, it is essential that you receive the right family law legal advice right from the beginning.

Whether you have a multimillion-dollar property pool or a more modest property pool, you must ensure that you receive your fair entitlement to move on with your life.

Negotiating the right outcome for you and your children regarding how to divide property with your ex-spouse can be a highly complex process. Every couple has different circumstances, and the law does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. This is why you must receive the right legal advice from the outset of your separation or divorce.

There are important dates and time frames to keep in mind; these vary whether you are married or in a de-facto relationship.

Going through a separation or divorce can bring so much uncertainty. Our goal for every client that we have at Collective Family Law is to ensure that our clients leave our firm with certainty to move forward to the next stage of their life, knowing where they stand.

When it comes to dividing your assets there are several ways that it may be divided between you and your partner. These options include:

  • Property division by agreement;
  • Property division through legally assisted agreement;
  • Property division through attending mediation; or
  • File an initiating application in Court to seek orders for property division

The division of property and assets is not always straight forward and it usually it will take time to reach an agreement. It is always recommended that you get legal advice, to begin with so you understand your legal position fully, even if you can amicably reach an agreement.

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4 Step Process

When Dividing property the Four-Step Process Applies

The Family Law Act sets out the four-step process guiding us on how to divide property when a marriage or de-facto relationship breaks down. If any, property adjustment is required between parties following separation is referred to as a four-step process. Put simply, the four-step process provides for an analysis of the following:

  1. THE PROPERTY POOL – What assets, liabilities and financial resources there are of each party, joint or separate (the “net property pool”);
  2. THE CONTRIBUTIONS – What each party has contributed to those assets, liabilities and financial resources before the commencement of cohabitation, during the relationship and post-separation, and financially, non-financially and as parent and homemaker (in percentage form);
  3. THE FUTURE NEEDS – What the ‘needs’ of each party will be moving forward post-separation (resulting in a percentage adjustment from point 2 above); and
  4. THE JUSTICE & EQUITY – Whether the assessment at points 2 and 3 above, and the transactions that will allow for that assessment to be implemented, are just and equitable for both parties.

Even if you are not yet in Court proceedings when you divide property you will be guided by the above principles. It will enable you to appropriately conduct negotiations and it will ensure that if you wish to formalise an agreement by way of Consent Orders, the Court will be likely to approve the Orders you are seeking for your agreed property division

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