When it comes to property settlements there is no black and white answer of what you would get should a Judge be required to make the decision. There are many factors that need to be considered in evaluating what is a just and equitable agreement.
The assets and liabilities that each of the parties entered the relationship with is considered however the longer the relationship and the more assets obtained during the relationship may affect the weight given to the contribution.
Contributions during the relationship by each of the parties will also be considered but both the financial and non-financial contributions are given equal weight. This is particularly so when a party has stayed home to look after the home and family which allowed the other party to progress their career. Contributions can include the care of children, renovations to property, income amongst others.
Courts will also consider the parties ongoing needs moving forward such as health, care of children and earning capacity.
The first steps in sorting out a property settlement is to identify all of the assets and liabilities. This includes property, credit cards, trusts, businesses and superannuation. Once these have all been identified the values will need to be ascertained and if there is a discrepancy as to what the parties say should be attributed to an item, valuations may need to be obtained. It is important that all assets and liabilities are included and disclosed as failure to do so may result in an agreement being overturned.
Once all of the property pool has been identified and valued, the negotiations begin and this can be done through parties talking directly, negotiating through solicitors, mediation or, if required, Court. Once you have an agreement you should enter into a Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement.
Property settlements may be a stressful time, but starting the matter off with the right information may make the matter a lot smoother.