Sydney, NSW -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2014 -- There are a lot of issues that needs to be settled in a Divorce Settlement between spouses under the Australian Family Law System. One of the most important issues that need to be settled is the division and settlement of the properties, asset and debts of the couple.
While there are several ways to divide the properties and assets of the spouses which include:
- Amicable settlement wherein both parties agrees with the method, way and manner of division of the property without asking the intervention of the Court;
- Amicably settling the division of the property and asset in accordance with ways, means and method agreed by the spouses and further submitted to the Family Court in order formalize the division; and
- If Amicable Settlement has failed, the spouses may apply to the Family Court for a financial order to ask the assistance and intervention of the Court to divide the property and settle the disposition of its assets.
The Australian Family Law system now allows the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court to issue an order related to the financial issues of an eligible De Facto Relationships. Unlike before the amendment, these orders are usually decided and issued only if the parties to the case are legally married. The question of jurisdiction arises if the couple is not married. Before, the financial issues between de facto couples may only be settled by the state courts in accordance with the respective laws in their territory.
The Family Law Act 1975 provided the guiding principles which are used in deciding the settlement of property between divorcing couples. These guiding principles are applicable for both married couples and those couples in a de facto relationship. Section 49 (4) in relation to Section 75 (2) of the Family Law Act provides the guidelines for married couples while section 90sm (4) and 90SF (3) provides additional rules for de facto relationship. To sum it up, the following will work as the general principles in which the court will consider in deciding a financial order petition, to wit:
- Accounting what they have and what they don’t have, the assets and liabilities of the couple is important as well as the value of all their properties and interest;
- Taking into consideration the direct financial contribution of each party to the expenses and maintenance of their family, this may either be their individual wages and salaries;
- Indirect financial contribution to the economic needs of the family is also important. This indirect contribution may either be Gifts received by either the husband or wife, their inheritance from their respective family and other financial benefit that they have received is given weight by the Court in deciding their financial order;
- Indirect non-financial contribution to the needs of the family is also important. The time and effort made by one spouse such as taking care and rearing their children and maintaining cleanliness and order in the family home need to be reconsidered; and
- Future needs of each member of the family including the spouse and their children are also important. The Court is very particular in this especially if the best interest of the child and general welfare is at stake.
The decision of the Family Court is based on the foregoing principles however the Court has still the discretion to decide on what will be the best for both parties after taking into consideration all the evidences and testimonies presented before it.
About Alan Weiss
As founder of Aussie Divorce, Alan Weiss has been a specialist servicing the legal industry for 8 years. Aussie Divorce was design with you, the consumer, in mind. Aussie Divorce has a number of key sections to assist you with every critical aspect of family law - covering everything from property settlement to child custody and defacto relationships. A simple menu helps you click through areas such as property settlement outcome, the latest family law news and a divorce store for Aussie Divorce products. Search our site for family lawyers near you