Property settlement

"Owning a home is a keystone of wealth…both financial affluence and emotional security."
- Suze Orman

At Shanahan Family Law we understand how much time and effort has gone into building and acquiring assets.

We make a detailed assessment of each party’s financial position, the length of the relationship in terms of contributions both financial as well as non-financial contributions like parenting and homemaker.

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Property settlement

The court must first determine what assets, liabilities and financial resources are to be considered in determining the property division. In essence a list of everything that you and your partner own is created. It does not matter if your home is registered in your name or your partner’s name.

If you own it or part of it, it all goes on the list. This is also the case for debts and other liabilities. The court will also take the value of each of the assets as at the date you reach agreement or the date that you appear for a trial – not the date that you separated. This is very important as the value of your property you own changes over time.

Secondly, the court looks at the different contributions you each made during your relationship. There are many different types of contributions such as:

  • Financial contributions such as income or assets that you or your partner brought into the relationship.
  • Non-financial contributions such as unpaid work in a family business or an owner builder undertaking to do renovations to property
  • Contributions to the welfare of the family such as the day to day running of the household and care of children.

Each relationship is made up of very different contributions and it is for this reason that the court will look at each relationship on its own facts. There is no hard and fast rule.

Shanahan Family Law Property Settlement Considerations

After the court has looked at how you got the property, it then considers matters such as:

  • The age and state of health of each party
  • Your children, their age, their needs and who will be caring for them
  • Your income, your partner’s income and how this may be affected after the property settlement
  • The effect that the relationship has had on you or your partner’s ability to earn an income and obtain employment
  • Any other matters the court considers relevant

After weighing up contributions and all the other factors that are relevant to your case the court will come to a decision about how your property should be divided between you.

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