MCG Legal    Blog    Resolving Financial Matters in Family Law

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

Our Top Australia Day Activities

You can’t beat Australia day on the Gold Coast! Cold drinks, great surf and raucous backyard parties. It doesn’t matter where you turn, you’re in for a good time. If you need some fresh ideas on how to spend your Australia day, check out some of our favourite ways to celebrate Aus...

Read More

Nick's Story

Last month we gave you an insight into MCG Legal’s Principal and founder Matt Gill. This month we’re throwing the spotlight on Nick Harrison! Nick arrived at MCG Legal with a unique blend of theoretical and ‘real life’ experience. Before becoming a lawyer, Nick served the community for appr...

Read More

Everything you need to know about DNA & Paternity testing

In Australia, it is estimated that more than 10,000 people each year sign up to find out whether their child is, in fact, biologically theirs. While that number seems large, it isn’t compared to places like the United States, where there are about five times as many paternity tests per head as...

Read More

Updates On E-conveyancing in NSW

Times are changing, and technology is playing a more pivotal role in conveyancing and the property services industry as a whole. As a Gold Coast law firm that helps clients with conveyancing and property work, we wanted to highlight to all our clients in NSW the changes that have recently been made ...

Read More

Why You Need a Strong Advocate on Your Side

Having a strong advocate on your side is critical. In this piece we dive into why it is so important to get you the best possible outcome. You don’t want a piecemeal lawyer who can’t tell you directly what they believe your best course of action. Having clear advice helps put on the path...

Read More

5 Reasons To Keep Your Will Up To Date

A Will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign. Despite this, only 59% of Australians actually have a Will and many of those do not have a Will that reflects their current circumstances. You cannot overlook the importance of planning for your family’s future. If you do ...

Read More

How We Help Clients Referred To Us

For most professional service providers, a great deal of work comes through referrals. The reason for this is that most professionals focus their advice in a particular area, and as such, when questions come up that they cannot help with, they want to make sure their client gets the best advice from...

Read More

Matt's Story

Many of you will know that MCG Legal has been advising Gold Coast businesses for over a decade, but have you heard how we started out? Our Principal and founder Matt Gill started MCG Legal in 2009, but you may not know that before starting his life in law, Matt served for over a decade as a police o...

Read More

What Are My Rights If My Partner Leaves With My Kids?

Children can sometimes find themselves in the middle of separation disputes when one parent tries to relocate the children, such that the relocation makes it significantly more difficult for the child to spend time with the other parent. Obviously, these situations are can be traumatic for everyone,...

Read More

5 Standout Gold Coast Restaurants We Love To Support

We love supporting local businesses. Both with our practice and with our wallets! Especially local restaurants!! It has been a tough market for a lot of restaurant owners in Australia for some years. Rising costs, changing spending habits and shifting demographics have made it hard for even the bett...

Read More

Understanding the Three Types of Child Support Agreements

One of the most stressful parts of a divorce process is dealing with child support. It’s important for anyone who finds themselves in that situation, to understand the different types of agreements you can enter into with your partner. A child support agreement is a written agreement between pa...

Read More

The MCG Legal Story

When you’re busy growing a firm, raising a family, and trying to have a life at the same time, you can neglect to tell your own story (or even reflect on it). This has certainly been the case for us in the past few years. Moving forward though, we’re taking a new direction with our blog ...

Read More