Divorce is a long process that can drain you physically and emotionally. In the physical sense, the process is complicated and time-consuming. That's not all; you have to divide the family properties have to be split between you and your partner. Properties to be shared include but not limited to rental houses, stock options, retirement benefits and brokerage accounts. There are just a lot of things involved. Even for the court, deciding who should own what is not an easy thing. It can be more complicated if your divorce is contentious.
In Australia, the court settles divorce by following four crucial steps. It first calculates and values the assets, financial resources, and debts of a couple. The next step is to determine both financial and non-financial contributions. The court also takes into account the future needs of both parties, and lastly, the court carefully examines the three steps aforementioned before making the final judgment.
The court considers the following as marital property:
- The actual property that a couple bought when they were in marriage
- Personal properties such as furniture, airplanes, boats, vehicles and any other tool and or gadget you and your partner purchased during the union.
- Bank accounts, securities, money as well as retirement accounts registered during the marriage
- Business permits and educational degrees
- Gifts to each other
What the court says about the property owned before marriage
The FLA has been quiet on the issue of property owned before marriage. But generally, greater weight is usually directed to properties brought into the marriage. However, the longer a couple stays in a marriage, the more individually owned properties become eroded and lose their importance. The court also considers how such properties are used during the marriage to assess how to divide such property.
How assets are divided for stay-at-home partners and homemakers
According to family law solicitors in Australia, the court does not follow any set of values or rules when determining what assets to split to the person that stays at home. However, the court only considers the asset that is available for both partners. Therefore, the greater the asset's value, the more money a stay at home parent receives. The court is not biased whatsoever; it will view the partner who stays at home in the same way as the partner who is the primary breadwinner in the family.
As you have seen from above, there are no rules or laws as to which partner should get more money or asset in the event of a marriage breakdown. The court decides each case based on individual facts.