How Your Family Lawyer Can Help With Property Separation After Divorce

Posted on: 17 August 2021

In Australia, divorce application is a straightforward process. All you need is to make an online application and seek consent from your spouse. However, the process becomes complicated if you accrued joint property in the duration of the marriage. For example, you could have bought a family home, saved some cash for your senior years or opened a joint venture. In most cases, each party often presumes that they deserve the lion's share of the property. However, this is not always the case. The article below discusses how a family lawyer can help out with property division following a divorce. 

Establishing What Qualifies As Marital Property

Typically, marital property refers to any tangible and non-tangible assets and liabilities accrued during your union. Your family lawyer will assess your family estate to determine what should be included in the property settlement negotiations. More often than not, your lawyer will need to iron out issues with your spouse's lawyer since some property could have been left out. For example, the law allows you to make exemptions if one party significantly contributed to the management of property another party acquired before the marriage. 

Establishing Your Financial And Non-Financial Contribution

There are no laws compelling parties to a 50/50 property settlement following a divorce. Therefore, your lawyer will need to assess your financial and non-financial contributions to establish your property rights. For instance, if you paid for the family home and solely managed it, it would make sense for you to take the property after divorce. On the other hand, suppose you opted to be a stay-at-home parent. This is considered a non-financial contribution since you created an enabling environment for your spouse to work without worrying about parental duties. 

Determining The Need For Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is considered when there is a significant difference in the income of both parties. Typically, your lawyer will argue that you cannot maintain your previous living standards following the divorce. Depending on your spouse's temperament and the nature of the divorce, your lawyer could negotiate for a one-off payment or for monthly or annual payments. 

Negotiating For A Reasonable Division Formula

Once you set the groundwork for property settlement, your lawyer will work out a reasonable property division formula with the other party. For example, if you will stay with the kids, it is only fitting that you take the family home. However, you will have to pay the mortgage. On the other hand, if you run the family business and intend to maintain your control, you could buy your partner's shares or make them a silent partner in the firm. 

Once both parties come to an amicable arrangement, the family lawyer(s) will draft a financial agreement that can be filed at the family court to make it legally abiding. Your lawyer will also help transfer property to your name. 


Selling my house to the kids

I am getting older and the family house is a bit too much for me these days. My daughter has offered to buy the family house from me and will let me continue to live in the granny flat. I want to make sure it's all legal and doesn't impact on my arrangements in my will. I know that there are a lot of older people in the same position as me: looking to keep the house in the family, seeking extra cash, and trying to avoid legal issues later. This blog has the tips on how to make sure the arrangement is legal and suits everyone.