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Property Division in Divorce

What is Property?

Divorce usually signals the end of the financial relationship between people. If you are going through a separation, you will need to know how property is divided in these situations.

The first thing you need to know is what the assets of the marriage or de facto relationship consist of. Sometimes you may not know, but even in these circumstances there is an obligation of your former partner to provide this information.

Property as defined in the Family Law Act means:

(a)  in relation to the parties to a marriage or either of them–means property to which those parties are, or that party is, as the case may be, entitled, whether in possession or reversion; or

(b)  in relation to the parties to a de facto relationship or either of them–means property to which those parties are, or that party is, as the case may be, entitled, whether in possession or reversion

 

Property in simple terms means any “property” that belongs to either party, whether they currently possess or have ownership now or whether the property will revert to them at some time in the future.

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men. Ralph Waldo Emerson”

 

The question of what is Property has been the subject of much case law since the Family Law Act was enacted in 1975.

The following provides a summary of some assets that were recognised by the Court as Property:

 

  1. Real and Personal Property such as your home or car
  2. Pre-marital assets
  3. Money that is owed to you or your former partner
  4. Property outside Australia
  5. Licences and Permits that can be sold of transferred, such as a liquor licence
  6. Lottery wins after separation
  7. Insurance Policy that can be converted into cash
  8. Shares

 

The question of what constitutes Property can be tricky. If you or your former partner has an asset and you are unsure whether it falls in the category of Property, Financial Resource or Mere expectation, contact us for specialist family law advice.

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