Step Three of The Four Step Process – Podcast Episode 14

Step Three of the Four-Step Process: Future Needs in Property Division



Welcome to another episode of our podcast series! In this episode, we dive into Step Three of the four-step process when it comes to property division in family law. This step focuses on considering the future needs of the parties involved and whether any adjustments are necessary to ensure a fair outcome. Let’s explore this topic in more detail!

Step Three: Future Needs Assessment

Step Three of the four-step process revolves around determining whether one party has a greater financial need than the other following the separation or divorce. The key question asked during this step is whether one person is likely to experience more financial struggles in the future compared to the other.

  • 75(2) Factors:

The Court refers to these considerations as the 75(2) factors, outlined in the Family Law Act. These factors are taken into account to evaluate any disparities in the future financial circumstances of the parties. The Court aims to address and rectify any potential financial disadvantages that may arise after the end of the relationship.

  • Factors Considered:

Several factors may be examined during the assessment of future needs. These factors can include:

  • Disparities in income: Are there significant differences in the earning capacities of the parties? Does one person earn substantially more than the other?
  • Primary caregiver: Is one party the primary caregiver of the children? This role can impact future earning capacity and financial independence.
  • Earning capacity: Does one party have a higher potential for earning income than the other? This could be due to education, skills, or experience.
  • Health and ability to work: If one party is injured or unable to work, their future financial needs will be considered.
  • Age and working life: Are there age disparities between the parties? The Court takes into account the remaining working life of each party.
  • Carer responsibilities: If one party is responsible for caring for a dependent individual, this can impact their financial capacity.
  • Uplift in Property Division:

The law allows for an uplift in the division of the property pool to address any future financial disadvantages. This uplift is represented as a percentage of the property pool, ensuring a fair distribution considering the future needs of the parties.

Step Three of the four-step process is crucial in assessing the future financial needs of the parties involved in a separation or divorce. By considering various factors outlined in the Family Law Act, the Court aims to achieve a just outcome that addresses any potential financial disadvantages. 

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