There is no exact formula used to divide property as each case is unique, however, an automatic 50/50 split is uncommon. That is, a court is likely to assess all contributions made by each party to ensure that the settlement is equitable. These are broken down into the following 2 categories:
These are purely monetary and are made by either party before, during or after the relationship. They will often consist of:
- Wages and other career assets such as termination pay or long-service leave. Income generated after separation is usually not included;
- Legal costs (known as notional property);
- Lottery wins;
- Compensation payouts;
- Assets each person brought into the relationship
If one party has been accused of wasting money during the relationship or after separation but before settlement, the court will also take this into account. It will generally only be considered waste if more than 10% of the wage has been spent on any of the following:
In a property settlement, non-financial contributions hold just as much weight as those that are purely monetary. These inadvertently add value to the net asset pool and are recognised as important aspects of a property settlement. They will often include the following:
When valuing these, the court will assess two elements in particular; whether domestic duties were carried out in a full-time or part-time capacity and if housekeeping assistance was used.
These are recognised as significant investments that allow the other person to earn a wage and increase the family’s asset pool. A full-time homemaker and parent would be likely to receive 50% of the net asset pool as the contributions made by both parties are of equal worth.
If one partner has carried out home improvements throughout the relationship, these will most likely be considered non-financial contributions that have added value to the asset pool. The value can be determined by how much a professional would charge to carry out the work.