Divorce/Separation and your Assets
By Briana Kotzapavlidis
12 January 2016
How do you calculate what percentage of assets you should receive upon a breakdown of your relationship?
There is always lots of talk amongst family and friends about what your property entitlements should be upon the breakdown of a relationship. The way property is split up once a relationship ends must take into account a number of complex and interrelating factors. The number one tip is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to the assessment of your property entitlements.
To be able to properly advise you about your property entitlements upon the breakdown of your relationship your lawyer needs to know the following:
- What is the value of the assets you or your former partner had at the beginning of your relationship?
- What is the agreed value of all of the assets which you and your former partner have now (this includes property, shares, business interests)?
- What are the current incomes you and your former partner currently earn or can expect to earn into the future?
- What gifts of property or inheritances did either you or your former partner receive during the course of your relationship?
- If there are children, what are the current arrangements which are in place for their care?
- What are you and your former partner’s current superannuation balances?
The answers to the foregoing questions will assist your lawyer in determining the appropriate percentage division of your assets.
To help answer the questions above you can look for, and should provide your lawyer with, the following documents:
- Property appraisals from local real estate agents for any property which you own.
- Yours and your former partner’s tax returns for at least the last three financial years.
- Financial statements and tax returns for any companies, trusts and self-managed superannuation funds in which you and your former partner has an interest for the last three financial years.
- Bank statements and credit card statements in relation to all accounts in your name, your joint names and where possible your former partner’s name, and in the names of all companies in which either of you have an interest, for at least the last 12 months.
- Details regarding any shareholding (both private and public) in either yours or your former partner’s name; and
- The most recent superannuation statements for any superannuation accounts operated by you and your former partner.
The foregoing list is not exhaustive, but is an illustration of the documents and information you can provide your lawyer in order to obtain the tailored advice you need in order to obtain the optimum settlement possible in your circumstances. If this documentation can be provided in the initial conference, all the better.