Under the Act, a property settlement has four key process that need to be considered. The Court will firstly assess the value of all assets and liabilities including for example, investments, superannuation and insurance policies, and determine the net asset property pool. It will then evaluate the individual contributions made by each of the parties, both financial and non-financial, including property, inheritance and parental duties. Thirdly, the court will assess the future needs of the parties, for example age, earning capacity and whether they have responsibility for any dependent children. Lastly, the court will make adjustments where it deems it just and equitable to do so.
There is no exhaustive list of factors that may be relevant in determining the ‘just and equitable’ division of property. Even if you and your partner come to an agreement and request a court order, the court may refuse the consent document if they perceive it as unjust or unequitable.
The same process of property division applies to couples of any gender who end a de facto relationship. You will automatically be in a de facto relationship if you have lived with your partner for 2 years or more in a genuine domestic partnership. Ex – de facto partners will have 2 years to bring an application to the court for property settlement after the relationship ends.
If you and your partner have come to an agreement regarding the division of your property, it is advisable to have this agreement formally drafted as a consent order to ensure compliance and certainty. If you are looking to negotiate privately, it is also strongly advised that you have a lawyer look over the agreement before you sign it.
Call Russo Lawyers today on (07) 3238 1888 or 1800 558 533 for more information.