Resolving financial matters arising from the breakdown of a relationship

In resolving property matters arising from the breakdown of either a marriage or a de-facto relationship, the Family Law Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have jurisdiction to resolve these matters pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975.

With regard to de-facto relationships, there are a number of significant matters which need to be considered in determining whether or not the relationship meets what can be deemed a de-facto relationship under the Family Law Act. You should speak to our family lawyers so we can properly advise you, after assessing the facts and circumstances of your relationship, as to whether or not your relationship would be deemed a de-facto relationship.

Information that we will need to discuss includes the duration of your relationship, the nature and extent of your common residence, whether a sexual relationship existed or still exists, financial dependents or independents, any arrangements for financial support, ownership of property, use and acquisition of property, degree of mutual commitment to a shared life and care and support of children.

Steps in resolving any financial matters

When you initially seek our assistance in resolving a property matter the first step is to establish with you, the facts of the relationship and the matrimonial property pool. This is a list of all assets, superannuation and liabilities held by you both whether individually or jointly. We then need to establish when each asset was acquired before, during or after the relationship. We will need you to attribute a value to each item in the property pool and provide evidence of the value by bank statements, real estate appraisals etc.

Firstly, it is the normal procedure to write on your behalf to your former partner the other party outlining your position inclusive of what you believe to be the matrimonial property pool and values. There is an obligation on both parties to undertake full and frank disclosure of all financial documentation which will assist in proving values of different assets and liabilities. Any real property where the value cannot be agreed between the parties will result in an independent party being appointed to provide a value. The cost of that is usually shared equally.

Assessing contributions and “future factors”

In having a matter determined by the Court, the Court will look to assess contributions made by each of you. That is also what we must do for you. In assessing those contributions we will look at such things as the financial resources either of you brought to the relationship, the financial contributions made during the relationship, the non-financial contributions made to improving the property, financial contributions post-relationship and the contributions to the care and welfare of the family both during and after the relationship.

These contributions are often complex to evaluate but may result in one party receiving more of the property pool than the other dependent on the circumstances. To add further to this the Family Law Act 1975 allows, after the consideration of those matters, a further consideration of “future factors”. These future factors include, but are not limited to, the disparity in income between you, employment of the parties, care of children, the age and health of each of the parties, the commitments of each of the parties necessary to enable the support of him/herself and/or the child(ren) of the relationship and the need to protect the party who wishes to continue the role as the primary parent. These are just a few of the future factor considerations that must be thoroughly assessed on your behalf.

Once the matrimonial property pool has been identified and agreed upon, and we have assessed all contributions and future factors then attempts are made to resolve the matter through negotiation or in some instances mediation prior to the commencement of Court proceedings. It is often the case that parties are not comfortable mediating prior to the commencement of Court proceedings and if no mediation has occurred prior to the commencement of Court proceedings then a mediation and/or Court ordered Conciliation Conference will occur.

All of these matters are complex and you should seek legal advice with respect to the facts of your matter as each and every matter is different. The Court will assess and adjust the property pool in either party’s favour depending on the facts of each matter. Lastly, and we as your lawyers, must assess if the agreement reached or the Orders you seek through Court are just and equitable given all of the facts of the Court in finalising any matter must also ensure that the decision is just and equitable to both parties.

In any Order being made by a Court, or any agreement being made by consent between the parties that is sealed by the Court, the Court has an obligation to make sure that those Orders are just and equitable given the circumstances of the parties. The Court will review the party’s particulars and ensure that any Orders are just and equitable.

 

If you’re experiencing a relationship breakdown and need legal advice or representation, contact the divorce lawyers at MCG Legal.

Recent Articles

Resolving Financial & Property Issues

Sadly, not all relationships last. Many couples are able to successfully negotiate the division of their assets and care of their children without legal intervention. But, there are some who cannot and that’s where we get involved. This article will explain the general court processes and the...

Read More

Resolving Financial Matters in Family Law

In resolving property matters arising from the breakdown of either a marriage or a de-facto relationship, the Family Law Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have jurisdiction to resolve these matters pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975. With regard to de-facto relationships, there are a...

Read More

Copyright Law for New Business Owners | Gold Coast

5 When starting a new business, Copyright Law and its associated protections are probably the furthest considerations from your mind. After all, you’re not writing a novel, directing a movie or producing new music. So, the most obvious question is: “What is Copyright Law and how does it affect m...

Read More

When is the Best Time to Review Your Will?

Many people believe a Will is a once and forever document. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your Will should reflect your wishes which may change during your lifetime. There are several significant life events which coincide with the time to revise your Will. Read on to discover which life event...

Read More

What Is Domestic Violence? | Gold Coast

There has been an enormous amount of publicity recently on the issue of domestic violence. Domestic violence can have serious impacts on people enduring it. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, but statistics demonstrate that domestic violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against wome...

Read More

Why You Need A Good Family Lawyer | Gold Coast

When separating from your partner resolving both children’s and financial matters and even organising a divorce, it is important to get good legal advice. Family Law is a complex area of law and you should engage legal representation. It is important to engage legal representation you can trust. R...

Read More

8 Things To Consider Before Buying a Home | Gold Coast

Purchasing property is often the most significant purchase you will make.  If you are purchasing property for the first time, this can be a very daunting experience.  We have prepared the following tips to make moving into your dream home much easier. Very few lenders will offer a mortgage if there...

Read More

Helping Children Cope With Divorce

It’s a sad fact that almost half of all marriages end in divorce. To complicate the situation even further, many of these couples have children. During the divorce process, couples are preoccupied with property, and financial division. The children’s emotional and physical well-being can som...

Read More

The Difference Between A Will & Estate Planning

Most people believe a legal Will adequately covers this and while it’s essential, a Will is only part of the process. Estate planning covers every facet of the distribution of your estate following your death. A Will is a legally binding document that details your wishes regarding the dist...

Read More

Driving Under the Influence, Know Your Limits

It’s summer, which for many means party season. The time of year to drink, be merry and enjoy the summer sunshine. Unfortunately, this carefree time of year is also a time for an increase of people driving after they have had too much to drink. Alcohol and driving are a fatal combination. There are...

Read More

Intestacy - Dying Without A Will

The complexities surrounding Wills and Probate can be difficult to anyone other than a highly trained lawyer. These complexities combined with the uncomfortable feelings often associated with making a Will, all combine to make it an unpleasant task which people tend to avoid. Our intent is not to con...

Read More

Conveyancing: Obtaining Legal Advice

By Matt Gill It has become normal practice on the Gold Coast when purchasing or selling property, that contracts are often signed by the buyer and seller prior to obtaining legal advice from a qualified conveyancing lawyer. Personally I think this occurs for one of the following reasons: Because of...

Read More