Going through a separation or a divorce is often one of the most emotional and difficult times in our lives. You may be feeling confusion, despair, anger, or possibly even relief, depending on the circumstances of the separation. It is normal to go through a rollercoaster of different emotions, as going through a separation can drastically change your life.

Not only must you accept the loss of your partner after a separation, you may also lose common friendship groups, relationships with your ex-partner’s family members, there may be financial loss involved, or loss of routine and dreams about the future.

Individuals who have just experienced a separation may have trouble sleeping, a loss of appetite, or withdrawal from everyday life. These side effects are common when a separation is fresh, and they will begin to fade in time. Eventually, a new normal will exist where you can feel at peace with your life post-separation.

This article will explore the top tips to help you move on after a separation.

Forgive yourself & let go of regrets

You may believe that it is your fault your relationship ended, in which case you may be torturing yourself and wondering how you could have acted differently to save the relationship. This is an unhealthy way of thinking. Forgive yourself for any mistakes made during the relationship, because each decision has led you to where you are now, and you are right where you need to be.

Focus on the present

The separation happened for a reason, and instead of thinking about the past, you can take the lessons learnt from that relationship and apply them to future situations. This way, you are thinking of the positives, rather than the negatives. The past cannot be changed, so you shouldn’t dwell on it. Instead, focus on the present and the future and how you can be the best version of yourself.

Lean on others for support

Think of your friends, family, colleagues that surround you. Think of those people who are there for you right now, and how you can lean on them for support. Even if it’s only one person, having a solid support system is a great way to work through your feelings with others who understand and want the best for you.

Remember why the relationship ended

Often after separations it can be easy to only remember the good times, and romanticise the experience of being in a relationship. You may have feelings of longing for your ex-partner, and the fear of being alone may creep back in. it is important to view your relationship as a whole, for both the good and bad parts. Both parties in a relationship have faults, so you should acknowledge that the separation may be the best thing for you in the long run.

Don’t look back on your relationship as a waste of time

Each time you experience a separation, you will take away key lessons. For this reason alone, your relationship was not a waste of time. Think of the fun experiences you encountered during your relationship, you may have broadened your horizons and gained critical life experiences. There are positives you can take away from the separation, such as achieving a sense of self growth and critical reflection.

If you have just gone through a separation and you are looking for guidance, No Lawyers’ Family Law Resources can help you make well informed decisions that make the most of your current situation and positively benefit your future.


A prenuptial agreement is a binding financial agreement between two individuals that records their assets, liabilities and financial resources prior to marriage. The agreement states how these assets will be divided between the two parties in the event of a divorce.

Suggesting a prenup can be an awkward conversation with your partner, but creating a prenuptial agreement ensures the assets and resources you have worked hard for are protected if you divorce, and ensures your future self and those dependent on you are provided for and protected.

For a prenup to be legally enforceable, certain strict criteria must be met. These include:

  • The agreement must be signed by both parties in the presence of a suitable witness, usually the parties’ legal representative;
  • Both parties must have independent legal advice prior to entering into the agreement. Parties cannot share a lawyer or get advice from the same lawyer under any circumstance;
  • Those providing independent legal advice must sign a declaration that they have done so;
  • The parties must have entered into the agreement without duress, coercion or undue influence;
  • The agreement should detail a complete disclosure of both parties’ financial positions; and
  • The agreement must be fair for both parties.

If any of these circumstances exist, the prenuptial agreement can be challenged in the Family Court and rendered unenforceable.

You can only challenge or change your prenuptial agreement if you prove one of the following:

  • The prenuptial agreement was signed under fraudulent circumstances;
  • The prenuptial agreement isn’t practical or convenient to fulfil; or
  • One party was unfair or unethical when creating the prenuptial agreement.

It is important to sign your prenup well ahead of your wedding ceremony. This will reduce the chance of the court finding one party to have entered the agreement under duress, coercion or undue influence. Signing the agreement as far away from your wedding ceremony as possible is best (recommended no less than 60 days before the ceremony). By signing early, both parties also have more time to consider the details of the prenup before getting married.

If you are considering whether or not to create a prenuptial agreement, No Lawyers’ Family Law Resources can give you the confidence to make decisions that are right for you.


  1. Be Settlement Aware
    As the name suggests, Property Settlement is all about settling, rather than getting your way. If you would like to make it through this process without a lengthy and costly involvement of the Court, you have to be prepared to make some concessions in order to arrive at an outcome.
  2. Establish the Property Pool
    In order to work out a fair and equitable division of property after a divorce or separation, you must establish a detailed property pool – which includes all valuable assets (including property, vehicles, , superannuation, art, bonds and savings) owned at the time of settlement. The No Lawyers platform will assist you in adding all of your assets, debts and superannuation accounts.
  3. Consider Your Contributions
    During the course of a relationship both parties contribute to their joint wealth and these contributions are taken into consideration during property settlement. There are financial contributions (i.e. income or pre-existent assets) and non-financial contributions (i.e. renovations increasing property values or parenting contributions allowing the other party to work/earn more).
  4. Estimate Your Future Needs
    Post-divorce/separation each party is likely to have different needs. Depending on parenting agreements, professional status, age, health and financial situation, the Court will decide who gets what based on their specific needs. As a rule, it will be a matter of equity over equality in order to ensure a reasonably comfortable situation for both parties.
  5. Get Court Approval
    Once both parties have worked out what they consider to be a fair division of property, you must submit all the data you’ve gathered to the Court with your Consent Order Application, which is easily created using No Lawyers. The Court will assess it in terms of justice, equity and compliance with Family Law, before returning it to you as a Sealed Consent Order, which is a legally binding document.

And don’t forget these deadlines

Matrimonial Property Settlements must be submitted within 12 months of the Divorce Order.

De Facto Property Settlements must be submitted within two years of the date of formal separation. 


Separation and divorce will introduce you to a whole new world of rules and regulations – there are laws dealing with the separation of property and assets, and stringent guidelines to follow when working out custody agreements.

While this can be overwhelming at first, it is also genuinely helpful – because in a stressful and emotional time like this, it can be quite comforting to know that at the very least there are rules to follow and forms to fill in to make sure the settlement is as fair as possible.

In regards to possessions and shared children, the law is reasonably straightforward; but what about shared pets? How do you determine who gets to keep the dog, the cat, the snakes…any pet acquired during the relationship?

If you can, work it out privately.

Even though you might love your pet as you would love a child, all pets are classified as property when it comes to the law.

Regular family pets – cats, dogs, guinea pigs etc – are not considered valuable assets and the courts will generally frown up any disputes concerning such pets. There are exceptions, of course. If an animal has a genuine monetary value, like a race horse or a pedigree dog sought after by breeders, the courts will take this into consideration and include such an animal in the property settlement. The same goes for animals that generate a substantial income, such as cattle.

As a general rule, the courts encourage separating partners to work out care arrangements for their pets without getting lawyers involved; so it might be worth having a sit down (or at the very least a civil phone conversation) and try to find a solution.

If you can’t – here are your options:

If you absolutely cannot agree on who will keep the dog – and are unwilling or unable to share doggy custody – you can get the courts involved. Remember, this is not a matter of custody, it’s a matter of property settlement.

If you apply for a property settlement, you are going to have to participate in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR); it’s basically mediation that will hopefully lead to the matter being settled out of court.

However, if there is simply no working it out, the matter will go to family court as part of your property settlement, where some of these points may be considered:

  • Who paid for the pet?
  • Is the pet registered in one party’s name?
  • Was one party the main caregiver of the pet?
  • Who has the accommodation best suited for the pet?

If your pet becomes part of the property settlement process, it is up to the court what happens next – that means the court can theoretically order the pet to be sold so you can split the proceeds, the same way it might with a house or a car.

If you have shared human children, the court might decide that the pet should stay with the children, meaning that it will travel with them between the parents’ houses depending on custody arrangement; or alternatively order the dog to stay with the parent who sees the children less to decrease their stress and solitude.

Keep in mind, once the court has signed orders, it is very hard to appeal the decision, so it’s often in everyone’s best interests to settle pet matters privately.


Considering the legalities of your relationship can feel a little weird and clinical; after all, it’s all about love, right? That said, there are moments in every long-term relationship when you need to be aware of your legal rights and obligations – be it for tax purposes, health reasons or during a break-up situation. The legal recognition of same-sex relationships has evolved rapidly during the last decade, so it’s fair enough if you are feeling a little confused regarding your rights.

However, it’s actually not as complicated as it might seem. Here’s what you need to know:

Same-Sex Relationships are fully legally recognised.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since December 2017; however, even if you are not married to your partner, your relationship has the same legal validity as any other de facto relationship. You can make your de facto relationship extra official by registering a civil union or domestic partnership, if you choose. In any case, you have the same legal rights and obligations as heterosexual couples.

Rights and Obligations While You’re in a Relationship
Since 2008, the Australian government no longer discriminates against same-sex couples and their children when it comes to everyday legalities. That means if you are living together, sharing expenses and familial responsibilities (i.e. shared children, pets, mortgage etc.), your relationship is subject to the same laws as any other de facto relationship or marriage. That means:

  • you have to report to social services as a couple (i.e. disclose your partner/wife’s income when applying for any government assistance)
  • you are entitled to include your partner/wife in your will and as a beneficiary of your superannuation
  • both of you will appear on your child/children’s birth certificate, registered as “mother” and “parent”, if they were conceived through invitro fertilisation
  • you can grant your partner/wife power of attorney regarding your affairs and vice versa
  • you can grant your partner/wife statutory health authority and vice versa
  • you have equal parental responsibility
  • you can sponsor your partner/wife in case of immigration and vice versa
  • you are able to adopt and/or foster children

Rights and Obligations in case of Separation or Divorce
If you are in a same-sex marriage, you have the exact same rights and responsibilities when going through a divorce as any other married couple. You will have to go through the process of property division and, if you have children, make custody arrangements suitable to your respective situations.
It used to be a different story for de facto relationships; however, since 2009 de facto couples separating may apply for a property settlement provided:

  • they have been living together for two years or more
  • one partner has contributed significantly to the joint property (financial or otherwise)
  • you have shared children

In case of separation/divorce you and your partner/wife will both still have parental rights and responsibilities, provided you both appear on the child/children’s birth certificate.

If domestic violence has occurred during your relationship/marriage, you can apply for domestic violence orders and are entitled to protection and legal representation.



Supposedly, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. We should deck the halls with boughs of holly, sneak kisses under mistletoe and feel alive with the glorious twin spirits of love and kindness. It’s the time to remember how lucky we are, a time to spend with loved ones, a time to see the good in everyone.

However, statistically, Christmas is also the time most likely to herald separations. Family law practices all over Australia report a dramatic increase in divorce proceedings every January; approximately ten-thousand couples file for divorce at the end of the festive season.

So, what makes the merry yuletide such a minefield for relationships?

Great Expectations

We know we are meant to be having a great time around Christmas and New Year; and this kind of knowledge tends to make us extra critical. By the time the silly season actually rolls around, we have been steamrolled by ads for the perfect gift, endlessly looped tunes proclaiming merry brightness and countless posts on social media reporting the great time everyone else is having; there is very little chance for reality to measure up. If your marriage is already a little rocky, adding extended family get-togethers, mandatory presents and celebratory drinks into the mix is unlikely to do you any favours.

Celebratory Drinks

Most Australians love to party… even without a special occasion. Give them an actual reason – like Christmas lunch at Mum and Dad’s or Auntie Beryl’s Boxing Day BBQ – and they will rise to the occasion with glee. Unfortunately, especially in a setting as emotionally complex as a family gathering, this is often a recipe for conflict. According to Australian Emergency Services, incidents of domestic violence increase by 157% on New Year’s Eve/Day, a sad climax after a steady rise of altercations over the Christmas period.

Christmas is Expensive

Over time, the financial strain Christmas means for the average family has become nothing short of ridiculous. Presents for children, partners, extended family and friends, paired with the traditional culinary trappings, beverages and, ideally, a summer holiday getaway around the same time… It is not surprising that tensions in the home are on the rise this time of year. Keeping Christmas within your financial means – unless you are vastly rich – coping with some disappointment or at the very least questions about just how disappointing this is for you, while the consumer-storm rages around you. Disappointment, as we all know, can turn into resentment of your partner very quickly.

The Last Hoorah

Of course, not every couple filing for divorce by January was in a good place in late November; many separations have been long in the making. However, especially when children are involved, many couples opt to see through the festive season together, before going their separate ways in the new year. After all, this will give everyone involved a chance to adjust to the new situation and get used to new arrangements before the next Christmas rolls around.

Moving On

If you are already struggling in your relationship, it is a good idea to remind yourself at the start of the Christmas season, that the next few weeks are unlikely to improve matters, no matter how determined you are to make this the most harmonious, perfect Christmas ever. In fact, it is probably best to enter the celebratory fracas with as little expectation as possible – good or bad.

If you feel there is no better way to start the new year than making a clean break and moving on as far as your relationship is concerned, know that you don’t have to spend the last of your Christmas-battered funds on expensive divorce lawyers.


It’s understandable to feel confused by all the technicalities and terminology used in the legal space, especially if your mind is already preoccupied with your separation or divorce.

Usually, two terms many people use interchangeably are ‘property settlement’ and ‘divorce’.

Their meanings get confused because both processes involved negotiating with your former partner and seeking professional guidance from a lawyer. However, there are important differences.

To help you, let’s briefly discuss the difference between divorce and property settlement.

What is property settlement?

Property settlement refers to the division of assets and debts between parties and is usually negotiated shortly after a separation, as there are time limits imposed.

For instance, you and your partner decide to get a divorce or undergo legal separation. Either the two of you or the Court will then work on splitting your combined net assets through a property settlement process.

Married couples can apply to the Court for property settlement for up to a year after an official divorce has become final, while de facto couples can do so for up to 2 years from the date of separation.

What is a divorce, then?

A divorce is a legally recognised Order made by the Court that you are no longer married. However, a legal divorce does not deal with the division of your assets or parenting arrangements.

Keep in mind, too, that the Court isn’t concerned with whether any party may be at fault for the marriage breaking down.

To obtain a divorce, what you need to show is that you have been separated from your spouse for 12 months and 1 day and that your marriage has broken down irretrievably with no prospects of reconciling.

You can also obtain a divorce if you and your partner have separated but been living under the same roof for this time too.

How to apply for divorce in Australia

In order to apply for divorce in Australia, either you or your spouse must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Born in Australia or have become an Australian citizen by descent (born outside Australia and at least one parent was an Australian citizen and your birth is registered in Australia)
  • An Australian citizen by grant of Australian citizenship (If so, you will need your citizenship certificate when filing your application)
  • Lawfully present in Australia and intend to continue living in Australia. (You must have been living in Australia for at least the last 12 months. In some cases, you may need to present your passport showing the date of arrival at least one year prior and/or a valid or current visa)

Have you been searching for answers regarding the “divorce property settlement time limit” or the “de facto property settlement time limit” or the “spousal maintenance time limit”?

It’s quite a common question during a separation or a divorce.

One of the most important things you must manage when undergoing a divorce or legal separation is the property settlement process. To make sure you avoid any further difficulties, it’s important to know and abide by the time limit.

You don’t want to miss having claims on your assets just because you missed the deadline required.

So, to help, here are some key points you should remember about time limits for property settlement and spousal maintenance.

What is the property settlement and spousal maintenance time limit after a divorce or separation?

If you are married, the time limit is one year after your divorce becomes final. On the other hand, if you are in a de facto relationship, the time limit is two years from the date of separation.

The property settlement process can begin any time after separation. Commencing property settlement negotiations soon after you and your partner or spouse have separated can help you finalise things without having to go to Court. It can enable each of you to work out if you can afford to adequately support yourself, now living separately, or whether you need any financial support from your former partner or spouse (spousal maintenance).  It also allows property settlement proceedings to begin before the time limit ends, should you not be able to reach an agreement and opt to file for a Court application.

Handling your property settlement matters as early as possible will lessen the risk of the negotiations taking longer than you expect.

Keep in mind that when the time limit passes, you can lose your rights to seek a property settlement or payment of spousal maintenance – so it’s best to act sooner than later.

What if the time limit has already passed?

Once the time limit passes and you have not yet filed proceedings for property settlement and/or spousal maintenance, then you need to ask permission from the Court.

This pertains to the process of obtaining “the Leave of the Court” to proceed with Property Settlement or Spousal Maintenance out of the allowed time frames. Leave is usually only granted in exceptional circumstances and there are strict requirements that must be met. It’s best, then, to consult a lawyer to ensure you follow the right guidelines.

What are the grounds for obtaining leave to proceed for property settlement after the time period?

For the Court to grant you with Leave to proceed out of time for a Property Settlement or claim for Spousal Maintenance, you need to satisfy the following:

  • Hardship would be caused to you or a child of the relationship if leave is not granted.
  • You have a real probability of being successful in your property settlement claim.
  • Concerning claims for maintenance, at the end of the period before the time limit expired, your circumstances would have made you unable to support yourself without an income-tested pension, allowance or benefit.

When making decisions regarding granting leave to proceed out of time, the Judge will also examine these factors:

  • Length of the delay outside the limitation period
  • Reasons for the delay
  • Strength of the merits of your case
  • History of the proceedings
  • Conduct of the parties
  • Any likely prejudice and consequences to be caused to the other party or third parties if leave were to now be granted
  • Degree of hardship likely to be suffered if leave is not granted
  • Weighing up the court proceedings being allowed to proceed against the capacity of the parties to proceed with their post-separation lives free of prospective litigation

The Judge will, then, greatly consider whether granting leave will do justice or not between you and the other party. As such, it’s important to note that the onus of proof or the obligation to prove the case lies on you – the applicant party seeking to proceed out of time.

To learn more, here are examples of related legal cases.

Case 1

In Hertwig & Hertwig [2018], leave was sought by the husband to commence property settlement proceedings around four months after the limitation period. The husband had attempted to begin proceedings about two days before the limitation date expired, but encountered difficulties when filing the documents.

The husband cited it was because the wife had diverted a property (a significant asset) to a Trust entity controlled by her parents, whereas before separation, the property had been financially supporting both of them and their children.

What was the judge’s decision?

The Judge considered that if leave was not granted, the husband would lose the opportunity to seek orders in relation to the property.

Recognising the various contributions the husband made during their relationship, the Judge came to the conclusion that the wife had taken the benefit of a significant asset which financially supported both parties and their children before separation – especially because this property was the only asset in the couples’ property pool.

In this case, the parties were still to resolve parenting matters. However, the Judge granted leave for the husband to institute proceedings for a claim for property settlement.

Case 2

In Edmunds & Edmunds [2017], neither party commenced proceedings within the limitation period. The wife, then, sought leave to proceed with a property settlement application 6 years and 9 months after the time limit had expired.

The parties were married for 17 years and had 3 children, with the youngest being 17 at the time the application was made by the wife. When the parties commenced living together, the husband had an interest in 2 properties with his first wife and the wife had little assets of value. During the relationship, the wife’s parents gifted the parties $25,000 which was used towards the purchase of a property that was renovated and later sold. When the parties separated, they owned 2 properties in joint names and had superannuation. The total net value of the asset pool was around $552,000.

By the time the wife’s application for leave was before the Court, the husband’s asset position had become significantly greater than it was at the time of separation. The wife contended there was an informal agreement as to property settlement, but the husband denied this and said there was nothing formally documented.

What is the judge’s decision?

In this case, the Judge considered the following factors:

  • the financial and non-financial contributions of the parties
  • all of the evidence given by the parties
  • the likely percentage division if a Court was to determine a property settlement claim, in comparison to the value of the assets already retained in each party’s name
  • the likely costs to be incurred by each party if leave was granted and property settlement proceedings pursued
  • the significant prejudice to the husband in responding to the wife’s claim for property settlement, including the passage of time on the availability of documents and witnesses and his recollection of relevant matters from 25 years prior
  • the length of the delay, as the limitation period had expired 6 times over
  • the wife’s failure to take any action despite being aware of the time limit and her inadequate explanation for the delay
  • the wife’s actions after separation not raising a reasonable expectation she would later make a claim for property settlement

Taking all of these into account, the Judge refused to grant leave for the wife to proceed with a claim for property settlement on the basis that hardship had not been proved.

Consequently, the parties were left to reach an agreement or seek orders through State-based laws for the properties to be sold – meaning the proceeds would be divided equally as the properties were held in joint names.

If in doubt, always seek legal advice about your property settlement and spousal maintenance rights and entitlements.

Contact a lawyer from our panel of trusted partners to get the advice you need.

When you’re separated or divorced, there may come a point where you need to work out a property settlement between you both.

Property settlement works by dividing a couple’s combined net assets, but it’s not as simple as it seems.

To ensure that all of your assets are divided and debts allocated fairly with your former partner or spouse, the Family Law Courts considers a range of factors – from identifying which among your assets are obtained during your marriage, all the way to determining each person’s likely needs in the future.

The Court provides 4 important steps to work out your property settlement entitlements:

  1. What is the net asset pool (assets less debts)?
  2. What have been the financial and non-financial contributions?
  3. What are each party’s “future needs”?
  4. Is the division of assets “just and equitable”?

Let’s discuss them more thoroughly.

Step 1 — What is your net asset pool (property pool)?

Property settlement begins with determining your asset pool.

You need to calculate the assets and debts that are to be divided between you and your former partner or spouse. When arranging a property settlement agreement, don’t forget to take note that:

  • All assets are included – whether they are held in joint names, either person’s sole name or the name of a company, trust or other entity that either person has an interest in, or  held by someone else on your behalf or held by you on behalf of another person, such as a child; all of these assets are included the asset pool
  • The Court also has the power to make Orders concerning assets held overseas and requires that you disclose overseas assets, not just assets in Australia
  • Assets purchased either before your relationship commenced (i.e. when you started living together, irrespective of if you later married) or after your separation are still included in the asset pool
  • Property settlement in Australia takes into account the value of assets and debts considered at the time of the agreement, not the separation date
  • Liabilities are included, irrespective of whose name they held in
  • Superannuation is generally included, because superannuation accounts held by either person are usually considered as an asset and can be divided in a property settlement. However, there are some circumstances where superannuation is not an asset but instead considered a financial resource. You should seek legal advice if you are unsure if the superannuation of either yourself or your partner or spouse is considered an asset or a financial resource.

Here are some examples of assets and debts that may be taken into account in your property settlement:


  • Houses
  • Units
  • Land
  • Cars
  • Motorbikes
  • Savings/bank accounts or building society accounts
  • Investments
  • Money that is owing to you
  • Shares
  • Companies
  • Trusts
  • Businesses
  • Jewellery
  • Furniture/household contents and appliances
  • Artwork
  • Superannuation
  • Caravans
  • Trailers
  • Timeshare
  • Tools
  • Boats/vessels
  • Life insurance that can be cashed in before death – i.e., has a surrender value


  • Mortgage
  • Overdraft
  • Line of credit
  • Personal loan
  • Credit card
  • Business loan
  • Motor vehicle loan
  • Loan/monies owing to other third parties such as a family member or friend
  • Taxation debts
  • Centrelink debts
  • HECS/HELP debts
  • Selling costs on a property or other assets such as commission, brokerage fees, auctioneer’s costs and costs to prepare a property for sale

It’s possible that you may not know your former partner or spouse’s assets and debts.

In cases like this, you can directly ask the other person for information. If the value of an asset is not agreed to by both of you, you may need to jointly instruct a professional valuer to provide a valuation.

We can refer you to one of our trusted partners who can prepare a joint registered valuation should you require.

In this step 1 of t he property settlement process, keep in mind that you and your former partner or spouse have an obligation to provide what is referred to as financial disclosure – meaning all documents and information relevant to your assets and debts, financial resources, incomes and anything otherwise relevant to your financial circumstances should be stated and disclosed upon request.

Step 2 — What have been the financial and non-financial contributions?

It is wrong to assume that financial contributions are the only things that matter in a property settlement agreement.

In fact, the Court considers every financial and non-financial contribution to your household – including contributions made when you first started living together, during the relationship and after separation.

For financial contributions, the ones you and your former partner have each provided are broken down into initial contributions, contributions during the relationship and contributions after separation. These kinds of financial contributions can include:

  • Assets already owned when you started living togther
  • Earnings over the length of the relationship
  • Gifts
  • Inheritances
  • Redundancies
  • Payouts

Post-separation contributions, on the other hand, refer to any payment you or your former partner or spouse made after the relationship had ended. These could include things such as mortgage repayments, rates and water on the former matrimonial home.

For non-financial contributions, these day to day duties ensure the household runs smoothly and are given valuable merit in a property settlement agreement:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Caring for children
  • Bookwork
  • Gardening
  • Doing renovations
  • Managing finances

Step 3 — What are each party’s future needs?

Sometimes, one party may have greater needs in the future than the other. As such, the Court also considers this kind of situation when doing adjustments in the percentage split of properties.

How is this possible?

Either you or your former partner might need more support in the future due to the following reasons:

  • Having to handle the primary care of a child or children
  • Earning less income than the other
  • Having health concerns that require ongoing treatment or needs
  • Being at a much older age than the other (therefore, having less working life before retirement age to re-establish themselves)

Step 4 — Is the division of assets “just and equitable”?

The final step of property settlement evaluates if the proposed asset division is just and fair to your circumstances. However, it’s not entirely up to you to decide what’s fair or not – the Court holds that power.

The Court will begin by looking at the types of assets each party holds. Assets such as shares, properties, cars or bank accounts can be sold or converted into cash, whereas superannuation can only be accessed at retirement age. However, if you are close to retirement, your superannuation may be treated as a cash asset.

Your circumstances are unique, which is why the Court considers all important factors like contributions (both financial and non-financial) and future needs when managing the division of assets between you and your former partner.

If in doubt, always seek legal advice about property settlement.

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