A lot of times we find that you may receive advice from friends or family that is normally given with good intentions and comes often as a result of their own experiences. Unfortunately, this advice is usually misleading and creates false expectations. It is important to realise that one person’s settlement will probably be different from others you may have heard about. Basically we are trying to explain that every case needs to be decided on the individual situation.
No two relationship are the same. No two property settlements are the same.
The law sets out a number of things that must be studied to calculate how assets should be distributed after the breakdown of either a marriage or de facto relationship.
This can be used as a guide for either negotiating in mediation or going to court for your property settlement.
From our experience, we know that Australian Courts have developed a 4 step approach to help you understand how much you’re entitled to and how much you need to pay.
You will both need to check the combined value of all of your assets. You will also need to confirm the combined value of all of your debts or the money you owe to banks, the Government or any other person or entity.
This includes financial or non-financial contributions.
Financial contributions can include wages, government payments, any gifts or inheritances received.
Non-financial contributions include doing house-work, looking after the children of the relationship, and renovating the house. Basically, it can include anything that helped maintain the house, the family and the relationship.
You may have different living requirements than others and need to have the finances to maintain your health or a certain standard of living. The courts look at a variety of things here, including future earning capacity, the health of each person, the ages of each person, and who will be looking after the kids.
The court looks at whether or not their decision will be equitable and fair to both of you. The court will then decide on whether or not you keep certain assets or if they are to go to your ex.