In Family Law financial settlements it is never as easy as slicing the assets of a relationship down the middle.
s 79(4)(a) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) states that the Family Court shall give consideration to the financial contributions made by a party to “the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property of the parties to the marriage.” These financial contributions include any assets owned by a party at the commencement of the relationship.
Particularly in the case of “short” relationships (as a general rule the Family Court will view relationships of less than 5 years as a “short” relationship), a party’s initial assets and financial contributions may be very important.
In short relationships (again as a general rule) the Family Court will be more inclined to try and return the parties to a similar asset position as they were in at the commencement of the relationship, particularly in matters where the parties do not have any children.
As such, in circumstances where one party brings significantly more assets to a short relationship and has continued to make the greater financial contributions to “the acquisition, conservation or improvement” of the parties joint asset pool, the final split of this asset pool is likely to be weighted heavily in their favor.
When entering into Family Law property related negotiations or seeking to finalise a property settlement, it is very important to be properly advised on the relevant legislation and case law that may affect a parties rights, entitlements and obligations.
This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office on Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.