All Contributions Count

29 MAY 2020

 

A common myth is that whoever paid more during a relationship gets more after the separation. While this might end up being the case, it is certainly not automatic or a default position. In fact, Courts take both financial and non-financial contributions into consideration.

For married couples, the relevant section of the Family Law Act is section 79, or section 90SM for de facto couples.

In order to reach a settlement in relation to property, parties and their lawyers need to work together to value the parties’ assets and liabilities, whether they are joint or solely held. This is often regarded as the “asset pool”, which is then divided between the parties.

The division of the asset pool is based largely upon who contributed what to the relationship, either financially or non-financially, or as parent or homemaker, among other factors. Contributions that were made at the commencement of a relationship, during the relationship and post-separation are considered.

Financial contributions are those that involve the payment of money, such as:

  • Assets or debts that a party brought into the relationship
  • Income earned during the relationship
  • Payments towards the mortgage, rent, utilities or rates during or after the relationship
  • Payment of living expenses during the relationship

Non-financial contributions are those that are not monetary. The most common example is renovations that increase the value of a property

Another important class of contribution are those made as parent or homemaker, including domestic duties and caring for any children.

All types of contributions are given equal weight by the Court. This means that even if you were a full-time homemaker or parent during the relationship, you will still, pending a consideration of the circumstances of your matter, have an entitlement to the asset pool.

If you require more information on the above please contact Nevine Youssef on nyoussef@marsdens.net.au or by phoning 02 4626 5077.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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