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FAMILY LAW: PROPERTY AND FINANCIAL MATTERS

October 2012

A divorce application can be filed with the Family Court of Western Australia only after When deciding how your property and finances are divided, a 4 step process is adopted as follows:

  1. Identifying the value of the assets and liabilities- this includes all joint and individual assets.
  2. Assessing the financial and non- financial contributions made by the parties during the relationship and marriage.
  3. Assessing any future needs of the parties and making any further adjustment to ensure a fair settlement.
  4. Determining whether the division is just and equitable.

The above 4 step process also applies for property and financial settlement for defacto couples. The only difference is that superannuation in property and financial matters for defacto couples cannot be split or flagged unlike for married couples.

When identifying the assets and liabilities you need to consider things like all real property both investment and the former matrimonial home, motor vehicles, boats, shares, businesses, family trusts, bank accounts, mortgages and loans and credit card debt.

Prior to any matter going to Court, pre-action procedures and disclosure need to be exchanged with the other party. This involves writing to the other party and setting out the background, contributions made, assets and liabilities and exchanging financial disclosure documents. Exchanging disclosure is very important and you must disclosure all financial documents in your possession.

Not all matters end up in court, in fact at iLaw we encourage matters to be settled out of court and minimise the stress and cost of all parties. There are agreements that can be reached by consent of both parties as to how your assets and liabilities will be divided.

There is a common misconception that property and financial settlement is a divorce application, when it is not. Our divorce lawyers and family law team at iLaw can assist you both with your divorce application and property and financial settlement, ensuring you receive your maximum entitlements.

Please Note: The information contained in this article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as anything more than general comment. Readers of this article should not act on the basis of this comment without consulting one of iLaw’s legal practitioners who will consider their particular circumstances