If you are going through divorce or separation, you probably need to do financial settlement at some stage. What we as lawyers and ultimately family law court will consider in dividing your properties is a four-step process:


Step 1: What is the property pool? In this stage, we consider all the properties after deducting the debts, that you and your ex-partner own and we call it property pool. Property is everything such as (house, share, superannuation, car, Jewellery, cash, overseas properties and all the debts.  It does not matter whose name is on the legal title. Everything is considered as joint property for this purpose.


Step 2: How you as couple created your property pool and how? This is called contributions of the party. In this step, we consider financial and non-financial contributions. Financial contributions are the money you brought into the relationship and can be in the form of income, a gift from parents, etc. Non-financial contributions are the ones that one party stayed at home and took care of the kids and household chores. Non-financial contributions are just as valid as financial contributions.


Step 3: Then we look at future needs of both parties, such as the age of each party, the health and the capacity to earn income in future. If there are children in the relationship who will be looking after them after separation.


Step 4: We look at if the division of the property is just and appropriate. We are looking at something which is appropriate in your circumstances.


An important point to remember is that the property settlement can be done anytime before or after separation however, it has to be done within 12 months from the date of Divorce. After this date it will be a costly exercise to have the property settlement.


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