In Australian law there is no presumption or starting point that property should be divided between the parties equally.
There is no rule of thumb as to how Courts will divide the property between the parties. The Court will look at particular facts of each case on its own merits and then make an Order they consider appropriate for the circumstances of that case.
To determine a fair and equitable family law property settlement a four step process is applied to the parties’ circumstances, which involves: –
Step 1: Identifying the parties’ net assets;
Step 2: Assessing the contributions of each party s79(4) Family Law Act 1975 – this is their contribution to the acquisition, conservation and/or improvement to the asset pool. This includes non-financial contributions as well i.e. parent and homemaker.
Step 3: Future needs s75(2) Family Law Act 1975 – this requires assessing the future needs of both parties, taking into account a variety of things including:
Where appropriate, an adjustment to the parties’ contributions can be made after consideration of those factors; and
Step 4: Practical effect – the final step in applying the property settlement process is to consider the practical effect of the proposed settlement, and achieve a result which is fair and equitable in all of the circumstances.
Once agreement for property settlement has been reached you can either enter into Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement.