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but my friend got 70/30?

But my friend got 70%/30%?

Monday 15th of July 2019
By: Kate Trajcevski, Special Counsel and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Coote Family Lawyers

Right from the first meeting you gave me a great deal of confidence.

Almost everyone has some level of involvement in family law these days.  Constant reforms are discussed in the news, it makes for an interesting storyline in TV dramas, and is often the subject of schoolyard gossip.  Well-meaning friends and family will have all sorts of advice for you when a relationship breaks down.

It is not, however, the same for everyone.  Just because your friend or neighbour received a certain property division, does not mean that is appropriate in your circumstances.  Relationships are diverse and varied, and the discretion afforded to a Family Court Judge by the Family Law Act to determine a property division is broad.

If it is just and equitable in the circumstances to do so, generally, the Court undertakes the following process:

  1. Identify the assets, liabilities and resources, and value them.  The Court will examine your existing legal and equitable interests.  In other words, all assets and resources owned by you or your former partner, or in which either of you have an interest (whether it be individually or jointly with any other person) will be included
  2. Assess the contributions made by both parties over the course of the relationship to the acquisition, conservation and/or improvement of any asset or resource.  Contributions may be financial (income), or non-financial (homemaking).  Contributions can be made either directly (by your partner) or indirectly (by your parent, through an inheritance).  Contributions can be made before, during and after a relationship
  3. Assess the 'future needs' of the parties, including the ability to earn an income, age and health, and responsibilities as carer of a child. 
  4. Consider whether the division as proposed is just and equitable in the circumstances. 

The process described above is by no means a black and white, or formulaic, approach.  Factors such as the length of the relationship, the size of the asset pool, and the age of your children may impact how it applies to you compare to your neighbour. 

To properly understand your property division, you will need advice from a lawyer specialising in this area of law.  The team at Coote Family Lawyers are recognised as being the best divorce lawyers in Melbourne and are here to help.  Call one of our family law specialists on 03 9804 0035.




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