The first step in attempting to achieve a resolution of the division of former
matrimonial assets and liabilities is for each party to draw up a list of the assets
and liabilities and then to put a value in rough terms on each asset and liability.
It is then important to divide the net value of the assets. The normal starting point is 50% to one person and 50% to the other person. However these percentages can vary depending on a number of factors including:-
- The initial financial contribution of the parties at the beginning of the marriage or relationship.
- The financial and non financial contributions of the parties during the marriage or relationship.
- Whether there was any financial windfall particularly in the latter years of the marriage or relationship to one party or the other.
- The comparable earning capacities of the parties.
- Whether one party or the other will have the primary care of any child or children under the age of eighteen years.
It is a fairly complicated and subjective assessment as to where the percentages will finish up. It is therefore important to consult a solicitor at the earliest opportunity. If no resolution is possible then proceedings can be commenced in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia or in some cases in the Family Court of Australia. One of the steps along the way to a final hearing if that becomes necessary is what is called a conciliation conference where the parties sit down with their solicitors and a Registrar of the Court who tries to facilitate a settlement between the parties in respect of property matters.
We would strongly advise you to obtain legal advice relating to your specific circumstances to ensure that you have all the information you need on your rights and obligations together with the options available to you to assist you in resolving any Family Law matter.