The Family Law Courts (the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court) have the power under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to determine property settlements between parties to a de facto relationship or marriage.
In considering what division of property between parties is “just and equitable”, the Courts consider the parties legal and equitable interests in property, the market value of those interests, the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party, and their respective “future” needs. Through this process the Court arrives at a percentage division between the parties (i.e. the property settlement or alteration of property), and what Orders should be made for any division of superannuation (or superannuation split).
Each property settlement, and the appropriate division (that a Court would arrive at), differs in each family law matter, and is dependent on the unique facts and circumstances of the matter.
However, parties are able to negotiate and reach their own agreement, which can be formalised in Consent Orders (if within the range of determinations that a Court would arrive at) or in a Financial Agreement.
For assistance with property settlements and family law matters, contact Justine Clark.