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Family Law, Divorce & Separation

Property Settlement, Property Division And Final Property Orders

The family law team at Bardo Zouki Noureddine Lawyers is committed to providing personalised, caring, professional legal assistance in all matters relating to property settlement, division of assets, and property separation. The process here can be complex, and depends on many factors. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s best to get advice from experienced property settlement lawyers. Read on for some basics on how property settlement works. In all property settlements, the Court takes a 4 step approach in dividing the assets of the parties.

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Step 1

Identifying The Asset Pool

The first step is to identify the net asset pool that you shared in your relationship. This includes personal assets and liabilities that may have been brought in prior or during the relationship.

It is essential that you disclose all of your assets and liabilities to us as a failure to do so may result in finding you in contempt of court.

If you unsure whether something is an asset or liability, disclose it anyway and we will make a determination for you.

Assets that may be divided when taken to court:

  • Real property
  • Real estate
  • Investment properties
  • Savings
  • Inheritance
  • Companies
  • Cars
  • Shares
  • Superannuation
  • Caravans
  • Boats
  • Jetskis
  • Tools
  • Any other asset defined as property
Property Division Lawyer in discussion
Property Settlement Discussion with family

Special contributions are also included in the calculation of the asset pool.

These include:

  • Inheritances;
  • Gifts; and
  • Compensation payments.

Liabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Mortgages
  • Loans (including loans from friends or family)
  • Credit card payments

Once the total value of liabilities has been deducted from the total asset pool, the net asset pool is determined.

If both parties cannot agree on the value of a particular asset, a third party expert will be brought in to assess and provide a value for a particular asset.

Step 2

Determining each party’s contributions

The second stage is where the court determines how much each party has contributed to the net asset pool found in stage 1 and any additional contributions made by each party.

Financial, non-financial and homemaker contributions are assessed in determining how much of a contribution each party has made.

It is important to note that the longer the marriage, the more likely a court will find equal contributions have been made regardless of actual contributions.

This is in contrast to short marriages (less than 5 years) which are more likely to give weight to actual contributions made.

Financial contributions are inclusive of all monetary contributions to the relationship.

These are things such as your salary and wages, contributions to mortgages and loans and paying bills. The court will then make a determination as to how much each party has contributed to the relationship in a percentage value.

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Final Property Orders, Investment, Mortgage Discussion

Non-financial contributions are contributions which have been made by a party which has increased the value to something or of monetary worth. For example, increasing the value of something may have been renovations you made to your family home, which in turn, increased the value of your home. Something of monetary worth may include things like working in the family business without pay.

Homemaker contributions are contributions made by either party to the family home and/or parenting contributions. Contributions to the family home include but not limited to cleaning and cooking. Parenting contributions include the caring of any children of the relationship by taking them to school, helping with homework, taking them to sporting activities etc. This is a significant factor particularly where one party has sacrificed working to take up the full time caring and maintenance of the home and children.

Talk to one of our friendly family lawyers now.

We take the time to understand your current and future legal requirements to deliver quality legal advice in a language that you can understand.


Step 3

Future Needs

In the third stage, the court will assess any future needs a party may have which would mean one party will be granted more of the assets to compensate for any future need.

For example, a party who has made significant homemaker contributions and therefore is unable to find immediate work as a result of being out of the workforce may see greater loading awarded to them.

The primary caregiver of any children will also determine how much each party receives. A parent with sole or majority of the care of a child under the age of 18 may see greater loadings awarded to them as they are unable to work as much as the other parent.

Factors such as age, health and disabilities of either party will also be considered when making an assessment for future need. A court will then divide the net asset pool in a percentage figure to reflect both the contributions and any future needs of each party.

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Property Division Lawyer

Step 4

Just and equitable.

Finally, once the percentages have been determined, a court will holistically assess whether the finding is one that is just and equitable to both parties. A court will, however, assess whether the finding is just and equitable at the end of each step in the process.

The division of asset is divided by way of a percentage split rather than dollar figures. We will endeavour to provide you with a range of the likely division of your assets and might need to amend our advice from time to time. Nonetheless, we will keep you well informed throughout the process.

Some useful links on property settlement are as follows

DIY Forms DIY Orders
Property Settlement Lawyer with a couple
Property Settlement Melbourne

The Melbourne Divorce Lawyer experts

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