One of the many concerns often raised by divorcing parties is the one concerning property division. In Australia, the Court upholds a framework known as the ‘Four-Step Process’ when it’s faced with the task of carrying out the property settlement process.
The first step is to establish the net property pool. It begins by first taking into account all property of both parties—regardless of when they were acquired, whether before or during the relationship or after the separation. To determine the net value, the parties’ liabilities are deducted from the gross value of the parties’ assets. PrimeLawyers.com.au gives more specific details that will help you know what particular assets are taken into account.
What follows is to assess the contribution of each party during the relationship. By “contribution” it means both financial and non-financial. The third step is to get a good evaluation of the future needs of both parties. This step will take a closer look at several factors like the age, health condition, property, and income potential of the two parties involved. Other factors such as those that have to do with (1) care and support for children, as well (2) the financial situation of any new relationship—these things will also be considered.
Once all three steps have been completed, what follows is to gauge the practicality of the proposed settlement to come to a result that is both equitable and just.
The steps mentioned above make up the Four-Step Process. Do note that before a final property settlement is reached, both parties must disclose their respective financial circumstances to one another. PrimeLawyers.com.au lists some of the commonly required documents each party has to provide to the other to prove their financial circumstances.
Proper disclosure is necessary and the failure to do so can lead to severe outcomes. You don’t have to navigate this process alone. You’re better off with the help of a legal expert to help you with property settlement and other family law concerns.