The basis on which both married and de facto couples can finalise their property settlement is detailed in the Family Law Act 1975.
If it is appropriate to make an adjustment of your property, the Court will consider the following:
What is your Property Pool?
The first step in determining how to divide property is to identify and value the property pool. This means all property in either joint or sole names held by you and your partner.
Who did what?
The next step is to consider the contributions made by both parties at the commencement of the relationship, during the relationship and after separation.
Financial contributions, including any inheritances, gifts or lotto wins
Non-financial contributions such as renovating a property
Contributions as homemaker and parent
What about the future?
When looking to divide your property, it is necessary to look at factors into the future that may require an adjustment of the percentages.
The age of the parties
Any health issues
What are the care arrangements for the children
Is there any income disparity between the parties
The effect of the proposed agreement on either party’s income
Is the outcome Justice and Equitable?
The final step necessary in dividing property is to apply the percentages to your property and consider how it can be divided so that is just and equitable (fair).
How do I go about finalising my property settlement?
If you reach agreement about the division of your property with your partner, it is important to have this agreement formalised by a Court Order so that neither party can come back later.
Are there any time limits that I need to be aware of?
If you are divorced, you have 12 months from the date of the divorce to file your proceedings in a Court. Parties may only bring proceedings outside of this time in limited circumstances.