As family lawyers, the question we are most frequently asked is: “How much of our family’s assets will I be entitled to as part of the divorce property settlement?” Variations of that question include: “Is everything split 50/50?” Or, “Our family law system favours the woman. Will my wife get everything?”
We will help you to identify and value assets and debts. Ordinarily, we look at personal and business assets and debts, as well as foreign assets.
Our family law system aims to recognise each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions. Examples of contributions include: salaries, redundancy payments, inheritances, family gifts, personal injury payments, management of investment properties, renovations, assisting in the family business, home duties, and caring for the children.
Our family law system also aims to account for differences in the spouses’ future needs by adjusting for income earning ability, age, level of care of children, health, and other factors. This is sometimes a motivator for spouses to fight over custody of their children, artificially lower their income, and exaggerate health problems.
All of this means that no two property settlement are exactly alike. There is certainly no rule that all property splits should be 50/50. We are here to tailor a financial settlement to properly recognise your contributions and prepare for your future needs.
If you and your spouse have already reached an agreement about how to divide your assets, we can check the terms for you to see if they are fair.
When you meet with us for an initial consultation, we will advise you on:
- What are your entitlements.
- What early steps you can take to protect your assets against being dissipated by your spouse.
- How to transfer assets without incurring stamp duty and capital gains tax.
- How to calculate child support or spousal maintenance / alimony.
- How to ensure your children’s school fees are paid.
- How to ensure your mortgage repayments are paid whilst you’re negotiating a property settlement.
- Whether there are potential tax problems resulting from the split.
- How to sever all joint debts so you are not held liable for your spouse’s personal, business or tax debts.
- How to locate and value your spouse’s assets.
- How to protect future inheritances from your spouse.
- How to document any agreement reached in a legally binding document to prevent your spouse from seeking a further split from you.