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Call: +61 3 8600 6000

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Family Law Property Settlements

Once you have separated from your partner, you will most likely require legal advice to divide your assets.

We have a number of different approaches to assisting clients in resolving disputes regarding property matters following a separation, and in reaching agreement. These include mediation (with an independent third party who can assist you by facilitating discussions to reach agreement), collaborative law (where the parties and their lawyers agree to a series of “four way meetings” and sign a contract that they will not litigate), by direct negotiation (between lawyers by way of correspondence, or direct discussions via a conference), or by way of litigation through the Court process.

Our advice will depend on the particular circumstances of your case and will be tailored by your specific needs and that of your family. We take a commercial and common sense approach to such matters, to ensure that your desired outcome is achieved.

The court process

The court has the discretion to make property orders that are just and equitable between the parties and in the circumstances of each case. In exercising that discretion, the court adopts a four (4) step process:

  • The first task for a Trial Judge when determining an appropriate division of property is to identify the parties’ property. For this assessment, superannuation is deemed property, and such interests can be divided between parties. The Family Court values all assets as at the date of trial less any arm’s length liabilities.
  • The second step is for the court to examine the various contributions made by each party to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of the joint property. The Trial Judge will recognise both financial and non-financial contributions, including those contributions made by a homemaker or parent.
  • The third step undertaken by the court is to consider both parties respective future needs, considering your respective financial positions, earning capacities, whether either party has the care of a child and any other factors or circumstances which should be taken into account
  • Finally, the court will consider whether the proposed adjustment of assets is just and equitable between the parties.

Our team can assist you by providing detailed advices as to your property settlement entitlements and will assist you in attempting to negotiate a commercial outcome. In the event that your matter cannot be resolved by agreement, or by mediation or collaborative law, our specialist lawyers will assist you in the litigation process.

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