In such a situation, you will need apply to the relevant court for legal assistance. Typically, the Federal Court or the Family Court handles these applications. The procedure involves a hearing before the judge, following which the court decides how to divide the property. There are four steps in the property settlement process:
- All the assets and liabilities (both cash and non- cash) belonging to either partner are identified and valued. Experts may be called in, if necessary, to ensure that a fair and accurate valuation is made.
- The contribution of either partner in the relationship is measured. It is not restricted to merely cash contributions, but also includes the effort and time of a partner invested in parenting or in taking care of the home. The duration of the relationship, the presence of dependent family members (such as children) and many other factors play a key role in helping the court make a fair assessment of contributions.
- Evaluation of the future needs of either partner is the third step and many aspects are factored in here as well, such as the age of both partners, the earnings and earning potential, standard of living, and the person who is more qualified to care for a child from the relationship.
- The final and critical step is an objective look at whether the proposed property division is fair and just to both parties involved.
Icon Legal can assist you further advice or assistance in relation to the division of property or any other family law matter.