It is difficult to count the number of times that I have had to correct clients who have assumed that a spouse is entitled to 50% of the assets of a relationship on a breakdown of that relationship.
In Australia there is no law that a separated couples’ net assets are divided 50-50 or equally between them when the parties’ separate.
In Australia, things which effect the judicial determination of the division of assets include a consideration of each of the parties’ contributions to the acquisition, conservation and improvement to individual assets in the parties’ pool or their respective contributions to the parties’ pool as a whole. Other things which affect The division of assets include a consideration of each of the parties’ needs moving forward, Who has the primary care of the parties’ children as well as the length of the parties’ relationship/marriage.
As every couple’s circumstances are different so is the potential outcome of the division of their assets upon each couple’s separation.
Don’t be fooled by what you are watching/reading on the Internet as overseas jurisdictions each have different laws or rules about “who gets what” when parties’ separate. Ensure you’re consulting Australian sources when searching for information about the division of assets post separation.
Married couples do not need to be divorced to have a property settlement and vice versa.
There are legislative time frames as to both when divorced couples and separated defacto couples can ask a court to make orders which will divide the parties’ property. Therefore, it is important for anyone who is separated or is thinking of separating from their partner / spouse to get some legal device.
More often than not, parties can “live with” the terms of their property settlement if they reach an (amicable) agreement with their former partner as opposed to having a judge impose something on the parties via court orders. It is also more cost-effective for a person to reach an agreement about the division of your assets with your former partner.
At Mornington Legal, we can assist you with all aspects of negotiating a property settlement including via private mediation to reach a resolution to the division of your assets post separation without incurring the time and expense associated with litigation.