Family Law and Divorce in Seymour and Surrounding Towns
At law, ‘separation’ occurs when you or your former spouse consider that the relationship is over without prospects of reconciliation. The law can even consider that separation has occurred whilst you and your former spouse still live ‘under the same roof’, provided that certain criteria are fulfilled.
There is no minimum period of time you must wait for ‘separation’ to have occurred. You can commence arranging financial or parenting matters, or make a Court application for a property settlement, immediately after separation.
To get divorced, however, you need to be separated for 12 months.
Divorce is the legal end to marriage. However, a Divorce will not automatically resolve financial or parenting issues with your former spouse. In fact, once Divorced, you only have 12 months to make an application to the Court for a property settlement (to resolve financial matters).
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After separation there are usually assets and liabilities that need to be divided between the parties. A ‘property settlement’ refers to the way in which this property is divided.
The first step is to determine the net value of the property in the asset pool. Property includes all assets, including cash, real estate, businesses, trusts, investments and superannuation. It also includes liabilities. It is important to include all assets and liabilities. Furthermore, at this first step it is irrelevant who, when, where and how the assets and liabilities were accumulated.
The second step is to determine the contributions of the parties. All types of contributions are considered, including financial contributions, non-financial contributions and contributions to the family as homemaker. Contributions that were made before, during and after separation will all be considered.
The third step is to consider other factors, including the “future needs” of each party. The most commonly considered factors are the age and health of the parties, which party is the primary carer of any minor children and the duration of the marriage.
The final step is to consider whether the practical effect of the proposed property settlement would be just and equitable to both parties.
In diligently applying the above steps, each party (through their legal advisors) will gain a reasonable idea of the approximate amount of the asset pool that a Court would likely order each party to receive.