The Family Law Act approaches the division of property between a separated couple by firstly determining whether there should be any adjustment between the parties – so the Court is required to look at each parties' existing individual assets, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources and decide whether it is just and equitable to make an order altering those existing interests.
If the Court determines that there should be an alteration of those existing interests, then the Court applies a four-step process outlined in the Family Law Act which considers the asset pool, the contributions made by each party to that pool, whether an adjustment should be made for future needs and whether the overall result is just and equitable.
Each case is determined on its own individual facts and circumstances and no two cases are alike.
Many couples reach agreement between themselves in relation to a division of their asset pool. If, however, no agreement can be reached, then Court proceedings may have to be commenced.
The only time limit on the commencement of property proceedings is that an Application must be filed within twelve months of a Divorce Order being made, or within two years from the date of separation in a de facto relationship. An Application can be brought to file for property proceedings out of time, however whether such an application will be successful will depend upon the particular circumstances of the case.
ATW Family Law can advise you on your property entitlements in your particular circumstances.