For property / financial settlements after separation, use this as the basis of the four step settlement process: 1 Disclosure, 2. Contributions, 3. Future needs, and 4. Just & equitable.
It’s the same all over Australia.
Make two lists – one for assets and one for liabilities.
Have each of you contributed to the household to the best of your ability? Maybe one of you has gone out to work and brought home salary and the other has stayed home and looked after the children and the home. The court sees financial and non-financial contributions as equally valid.
Did one of you bring in a large amount of funds at the beginning of the relationship? How long ago was that? What was the money used for? As a rule of thumb, the longer the relationship, the more likely it is that contributions will be equal.
3. FUTURE NEEDS
After separation, will you be able to earn a living? Maybe you haven’t worked in twenty years. Do you have young children to look after? Is it reasonable to re-train and re-enter the workforce? Do either of you have a disability that prevents you supporting yourself post separation? Are you nearing retirement age? Are your qualifications out of date?
4. JUST AND EQUITABLE
Having considered the size of the net asset pool, the contributions and future needs, what share of the pool does each of you need in order for the outcome to be just and equitable?