When a relationship breaks down, it is often a stressful experience that can be made worse if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on a fair division of your property.
There is rarely a 50/50 split following a divorce and family courts will take a range of factors into consideration before handing down a judgement on who gets what.
A property order will be based on individual contributions made throughout the marriage, as well as the future financial needs of both partners. This is particularly true if child support is going to be an issue.
What does a property settlement cover?
A property settlement can include various assets and liabilities, such as:
· Real estate
· Cars, jewellery and other items
· Debts, including mortgages and credit cards
· Money – either as cash or in bank accounts.
How do family courts make a decision?
The first step towards a property settlement is to identify and value all assets and liabilities. This may include items gained before or after the marriage. Contributions to the relationship will then be considered. Earnings, savings, gifts or caregiving and parenting duties will all be taken into account.
The courts will also examine:
· The age and health of each person
· Future money-earning capacity
· Child support and care needs
· The length of the relationship
· Other caregiving responsibilities.
In cases where former couples cannot come to an agreement on asset division, you can apply for a property order. However, a number of pre-action procedures must take place before you can apply to the courts.
If you are unsure of what steps to take in the process of dividing your property, it is important to seek legal advice. Contact family law solicitors in Cairns for more information on Queensland divorce laws.