Division of Property

There are many myths and urban legends about how the Court deals with the division of property. These include the incorrect idea that a party will automatically “get 50%”, or a party will “take you for everything”. What is actually correct is that there is a legislative pathway under the Family Law Act 1975 that provides for the way in which the Court divides property between couples/spouses.

Once the Court determines it is appropriate to divide property (for example, that a de facto relationship did in fact exist, or there would be a hardship to a party if it did not), then the Court has the power to make orders it considers appropriate in adjusting interests of either party owned by both, or either of them, including future entitlements such as superannuation.

Generally the Court takes into account the following 4 step process:

  1. Identify and value all assets (including superannuation), vehicles, companies, businesses, trusts, investments, houses etc.;
  2. Assess the contributions of the parties including financial and non-financial (for example, contributions of home duties, any assets brought into the relationship by a party, or gifts, windfalls, inheritances etc);
  3. Assess the future needs of each of the parties (for example, earning capacities, care of children, health etc);
  4. Determine if the division is just and equitable.

We are experienced in dealing with small to large asset pools, short or long relationships/marriages, disparities in income capacity and the like. We can assist you to find strategies to maximise your entitlements whilst minimising your legal costs to do so. We have resources available to provide you with alternatives to heading straight to Court, however should you need to, we can assist you with a Court application and advocacy. Time limits do apply and we will inform you of these at the first appointment you have with us.

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your situation.

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The Law Institute Victoria