The lawyers at Kavanagh Lawyers know how important it is to obtain legal advice before trying to negotiate any property settlement with your spouse or partner. When a breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship occurs, the division of property and other assets becomes critically important to the financial future of both parties. The Family Court is obliged to divide property, assets and financial resources of parties to a marriage or de facto relationship (including most same-sex relationships) in a way that is equitable and fair.
Some property settlements can be reasonably straight-forward, while others can be extremely complex. Kavanagh Lawyers can provide practical and realistic advice on your entitlements, with a view to achieving an appropriate settlement as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There is a range of options to achieve division including negotiated settlements, arbitration, mediation and, in cases where agreement cannot be reached, Court proceedings. Kavanagh Lawyers can advise on what likely entitlements will be considered equitable, in the event that the property settlement is judicially determined. Our focus is always on obtaining a positive, cost-effective and expeditious result.
If you don’t have a Binding Financial Agreement and your marriage or de facto relationship breaks down, the Family Court will divide your property and assess spousal maintenance by applying the laws contained in either the Federal Family Law Act 1975 or the Western Australian Family Court Act 1997.
Apart from superannuation, much the same laws apply to both de facto and married spouses.
Property Division Disputes
When deciding a property division dispute, the Family Court enters into a four step process, namely:
- Identify the nature and value of the property of the marriage/relationship.
- Look into the past to identify the financial and non-financial contributions of the parties and consider their entitlements, expressed as a percentage, based on their respective contributions.
- Consider whether there should be any adjustment to the parties entitlements in Step 2, based upon their present and future circumstances.
- Consider the effect of the findings in Step 2 and 3 and make an order that is just and equitable.
This procedure applies even though you may have reached agreement and wish to lodge consent orders with the Family Court for approval.
Although this process appears to be quite simple and logical, there is a large number of factors to consider, some of them extremely complex. For example:
- What are the taxation consequences of your property division?
- How are gifts, inheritances and superannuation to be treated?
- Call Kavanagh Lawyers on (08) 6557 5888.