Property and Financial Matters

Property and financial matters can be highly complex and stressful. Property matters can be settled by agreed upon facts (by means of a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Orders) or can be contested. It is important to receive advice to determine what you may be entitled to in a property settlement and what is included in what we call: ‘the asset pool.’ There are number of assets that can be identified to generate an asset pool, which may include real property, shareholdings, companies and superannuation.

 

We ensure that all property is properly valued and included within a property settlement, even in circumstances when a spouse or partner has attempted to hide assets. We can act on your behalf to negotiate settlement terms and provide representation in the Family Law Courts if there is no prior agreement. We are also able to draft and provide legal advice with regard to binding financial agreements and consent orders.

 

What financial matters do I need to resolve if I have separated?

You must decide how the assets of the relationship will be divided between yourself and your partner. Assets of a relationship generally include real estate, savings, vehicles, shares, personal belonging and even a business or company if one is involved.

You should also consider how superannuation will be split and whether one party will be financially supported by the other (through spousal maintenance). Most importantly, financial arrangements will need to be made to support children if children are involved.

If my partner and I agree on a property settlement, should I see a lawyer?

There are a number of reasons why you should speak to us even if you have agreed upon a property settlement with your partner. It is important to understand exactly how an agreement can be formalised and what impact any proposed agreement can have upon your future rights.

What is spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is financial support paid by a party of the marriage or de facto relationship (that has broken down) to their former spouse or de facto partner in circumstances where they are unable to adequately support themselves.

Can I apply for spousal maintenance?

Yes, you can make an application for spousal maintenance on the basis where your earning capacity is not sufficient to meet your reasonable living expenses. You will also need to establish that your former spouse or de facto partner can be reasonably expected to provide financial support taking into account their earning capacity and reasonable living expenses.

How can I get an accurate valuation of our assets?

If you cannot mutually agree on the value of any asset through the use of a market appraisal or online estimated valuation, then a sworn valuation should be obtained. The Court may appoint a valuer or ask that you agree upon one to value an asset of the relationship. We regularly engage a number of reputable valuers to ensure that our client’s assets are accurately valued.

Do prenuptial agreements exist in Australia?

Yes, binding prenuptial agreements are available within Australia. The law allows for people who are contemplating entering into marriage to make a written agreement with respect to how property or financial resources of each of the parties will be divided in the event of a divorce.

Can you provide advice in relation to Binding Financial Agreements and Consent Orders?

Yes, we can provide advice to you in relation to a Binding Financial Agreement and Consent Orders. We can give you advice as to the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How does the Court decide how assets are divided?

The Court considers four key factors when determining a property settlement. The fours key factors are:
1. The items of the net asset pool taking into consideration whether either party had any assets at the commencement of the relationship or have obtain any assets after separation.
2. The contributions made by each of the parties including financial contributions, non-financial contributions (as a homemaker or having primary care of the children), initial contributions and any other gains or windfalls.
3. The future needs of the parties taking into account a number of factors including age, health, income earning capacity, property of each of the parties and the future parental responsibilities of each of the parties.
4. The practical effect of how the assets will be divided and ensuring that the decision is ‘just and equitable’ to both parties.
Show Comments