After separation, dividing property between you and your ex-spouse can be lengthy and complex – achieving a fair property settlement is not a straightforward 50/50 split, as most may think.
Separation and divorce can be challenging for everyone involved. Without professional help, it may get a little harder before it gets easier. Our dedicated property division lawyers can provide you with honest, tactful advice tailored to your case. So reach out today for a consultation, or continue reading to learn more about how property is divided after separation.
How are the assets split in a divorce?
The most common fallacy is that assets are automatically split 50/50. As each relationship will involve various unique factors, a 50/50 split is very rare. The Family Law Act states that property division must be ‘just and equitable’ and that outcome looks different in each case.
It is not always necessary to start court proceedings for a property settlement. It is far cheaper and less stressful if you work to reach a mutual agreement or hire professional help to negotiate on your behalf to achieve a settled outcome. At Waller Family Lawyers, we implement proven techniques to achieve the best result for you in a property settlement.
What is the property division process?
Step 1. Determine the ‘marital property’ pool inclusions and value
The first step is to identify and value the assets, debts and superannuation you own independently, jointly with your spouse or held in a family trust or company (or ‘marital property’).
Step 2. Assess all contributions (financial and non-financial)
Step two is to assess your respective ‘contributions’ during the time you and your spouse lived together and after separation to the time of a property settlement. All financial contributions of initial assets owned, income, inheritances, gifts and other windfalls are examined. Non-financial contributions by a parent or homemaker are given as much weight as financial earnings.
Step 3. Assess future factors
Thirdly, you and your spouse’s present and future needs are considered. A factor that often adjusts asset division in favour of a spouse is when one spouse has a greater earning capacity than the other. Or when one spouse is responsible for caring for a child or children.
Step 4. Divide the assets fairly
After the above steps are examined, the assets and superannuation are divided in a ‘just and equitable’ manner. Our committed property division lawyers are highly skilled and experienced in various legal scenarios. We take the time to assess your situation with empathy and respect, applying proven strategies to retain what’s rightfully yours.
Organise a bespoke, fixed-fee consultation with us to gain clarity and peace of mind today.
What is counted as marital property?
‘Marital property’ is widely defined. Basically, it describes all assets, including superannuation, owned by you, jointly with your spouse, or held in a trust or company that you or your spouse control. It can include family homes, investment properties, bank accounts, cryptocurrency investments, family businesses, boats, motor vehicles, and assets owned overseas.
The assets that exist when you agree on a property settlement are divided, not the assets that existed at separation. If you acquire assets after you separate (but before you reach a property settlement), they will be included in arriving at a property settlement with your spouse.
Assets covered by a Pre-Nup (a binding Financial Agreement that helps to protect your assets in case of a relationship breakdown) will not be included in a property settlement.
Our trusted divorce lawyers in QLD can help you determine how your assets will be divided and work to retain what is rightfully yours. Contact us directly or check out our property settlement service page for more information.
What about de facto relationships?
In Australia, a de facto relationship is when a couple lives together but is not legally married. In an increasingly modern world, relationships are becoming more nuanced and non-traditional, which has caused the legal system to re-adjust and adapt. De facto couples (of any sex/gender) now have access to most of the rights as married couples regarding property division.
The updated Family Law Act states that any de facto couple who separated after 1 March 2009 can apply for a property settlement. Typically, the court will only consider your case if you have been together for at least two years and can prove you have shared a home on a “genuine domestic basis”, but many factors and exemptions can impact the final decision.
Do I need legal advice or have to hire a family lawyer?
While it’s not legally required, we strongly recommend seeking a lawyer who specialises in family law to handle your case. That way, you can rest assured that all aspects are considered, and you will receive what you are entitled to. Hiring a property division lawyer can also help you reach a mutually beneficial solution with your ex-spouse and minimise the risk of going to court (which is expensive and time-consuming).
We, at Waller Family Lawyers, are experts in property division before or after divorce and treat each case with the sensitivity and respect it deserves. Our affordable, fixed-fee consultations have NO time limit or obligations to continue, and we guarantee to always work in YOUR best interest.
Move forward with confidence: Choose Waller Family Lawyers.