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Separation and settling property matters fairly: what you need to know

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DIVORCE

If you’ve decided to separate from your husband, one of your next considerations will be how to settle.

Under the law, both parties have a duty to provide full and frank disclosure of all financial information to each other. This includes assets, liabilities, superannuation entitlements, and any other financial resources, both within Australia and overseas.

This process allows you and your lawyers to ascertain what is there to divide between the parties, and what you are entitled to by way of property settlement. In addition to considering the current assets, it is also important to consider assets that have been sold, transferred or gifted to another person if this was done in the year immediately before you separated, or since your final separation. This relates to any assets that may affect, defeat or deplete a claim.

What’s next?

Once you and your lawyers have worked out the net assets available for division, the next step is to ascertain what contributions were made by each of the parties during the course of the relationship. This involves looking at financial contributions, as well as non-financial contributions, made by each party during the relationship.

Future needs

After you and your lawyers have considered what contributions were made by each of the parties, the next step is to look at whether there are any future needs factors that may justify a party receiving a greater share of the net assets. Some examples of relevant factors include the age and state of health of each party, whether one party has the primary care of children under the age of 18 years, the income and financial resources (including disparities in income and income earning capacity) of each party etc.

Want expert advice on any aspect of separation?

Going through separation, whether amicable or not, is a very difficult time There are a lot of issues which you need to think about – dealing with property settlement, arrangements for your children, financial support for yourself, child support for your children….. the list goes on.

Each case is different, and depending on the circumstances different approaches might be warranted. It is important that you seek legal advice from a Family Law Accredited Specialist sooner rather than later, in order to understand your legal rights and obligations.

To begin with, you may wish to download the myDivorce (TM) App, which provides a brief outline of the key elements you may need to know if you are considering a divorce or separation. You can also contact me, Eleanor, via email or telephone, for further legal advice.

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