Property Settlement Factors

Alteration of property interests and the Family Law Act

As established in the landmark High Court Case of Stanford v Stanford [2012] HCA 52, the Family Court takes a four-step approach in property settlement proceedings:

Step 1: Identify and value the assets, liabilities and other financial resources (such as income from a trust) of each party;
Step 2: Consider the contributions, both financial and non-financial, made at the beginning of the relationship and throughout the relationship by each party;
Step 3: Consider each party’s future needs, taking into account their earning capacities, health concerns and if they have care for a child under 18 or a vulnerable person; and
Step 4: Determine with the settlement proposed is ‘just and equitable’ in the circumstances.

To do this, the Family Court refers to relevant sections under the Family Law Act 1975 (“FLA”) to consider what factors are necessary to determine each step of this approach.

Section 75(2) - Matters to be taken into consideration in relation to spousal maintenance

Under section 75(2) of the FLA, the Court takes into account certain factors in the adjustment of property interests in a family law settlement. Important factors include:

Section 79(4) – Alteration of property interests

Under section 79 of the FLA, the Court takes the following matters into account when determining what order to make in property settlement proceedings:

What to do if you separate from your partner

It is important to get legal advice when you separate from a partner, so you know how these factors under the FLA apply to you and your circumstances. It can be difficult to advocate for yourself and that is where we come in to make the process as painless as possible.

If you need help with your family law dispute, contact the team at Kennedy & Cooke to get legal advice as soon as possible.

Please be advised that this article is for informational purposes only. It is not to be used in place of legal advice. Please contact one of our solicitors if you require legal advice.

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