Separating your assets after the breakdown of your relationship
The breakdown of a relationship can be a very difficult time, not only for you but for your loved ones as well.
Apart from dealing with the emotional consequences, you are also expected to be ready to move on, just like that. But what about all the unknowns:
What am I entitled to?
What will happen to our savings?
What happens to our house?
It is always comforting to know you can rely on someone other than a family member or close friend who can guide you through the process and be your pillar of support. We at Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors believe this is the role of your Family Lawyer.
There are established laws that stipulate time frames within which property proceedings can be initiated in Family Court or Federal Circuit Court at the breakdown of a relationship.
In case of a marriage, any property settlement proceedings must be initiated within 12 months of the date of divorce. For de facto relationships, proceedings must be initiated within 2 years of the date of separation. This is the date when both parties deemed the relationship to be over.
You can seek the Court’s leave to commence proceedings out of time. However, this adds to the expenses and delays generally associated with Family Law proceedings.
Division of Assets
Although there is a wide misconception that parties are entitled to 50% of the asset pool simply as a result of being in a relationship, there is no set formula to divide your asset pool. The asset pool comprises of all of the parties assets and liabilities (including superannuation). It requires a careful examination of the parties’ contributions and circumstances before, during and after the relationship.
The Family Law Act sets out the principles associated with property division and the factors taken into consideration when deciding on your financial split. Although the general principles are same for a married or a de facto relationship, in essence the Court looks at:
- Parties direct financial contributions such as through work earnings;
- Parties indirect financial contributions such as gifts, inheritance etc;
- Parties non- financial contributions such as caring for children or provision of household chores; and
- Parties future requirements including factors like age, health, financial resources, care of children and ability to earn etc.
Ultimately, the way your assets and liabilities will be divided will depend on your individual circumstances. After considering all evidence before the Court, the Judicial Officer will decide what is a just and equitable division of the asset pool before making an Order to that effect.
It is important to remember, all property proceedings are unique and are based on your own unique circumstances. Therefore, even though someone you know might have received a particular outcome in their property division, there is no guarantee that you will receive a similar outcome.
How can we help?
At Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors, we pride ourselves for achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. We understand that during a difficult time, a client does not simply require a person who can understand the law, but someone who can guide them through this difficult time with compassion and understanding.
Please call us on 8917 8700, to find out how we can help you with your property settlement.