Divorce often proves to be an emotional and stressful experience. Requesting timely assistance from competent family lawyers can help you resolve issues and negotiate a fair share in a rational manner. Negotiations prove to be far more effective when performed in a collaborative rather than confrontational manner. You may not be used to handling money matters by force of habit. For example, your spouse may have been more dominant and experienced regarding financial issues.
In such cases, it’s very important to be kind to yourself and ask for an adequate share so that you can live comfortably. The process of financial and property settlement is equally applicable to marriage relationships as well as de facto relationships. Australian laws are equally applicable to opposite sex or same sex relationships.
If you are unable to come to a conclusion on your own, you can seek the assistance of reliable legal counsel or the Family Dispute Resolution process. This can be done while the partners live under the same roof or if one opts to move out.
The steps described below describe the process of financial agreement between spouses or partners after divorce:
- Identifying all the financial resources, income streams, assets and property in the common pool between the parties. This is not always a simple process as there may be assets that are inherited, for example.
- Negotiating the division of financial and property resources in a fair and equitable manner. This should be done by taking into account the needs, responsibilities, individual financial circumstances and capabilities of both parties. For example, the partner who is responsible for the child (or children) may require a regular amount of funds every month for upkeep and maintenance.
- Formalising the financial agreement and property settlement so that it assumes a legal shape. Once the financial agreement is drawn up, signed and accepted by the Family Court, any changes can only be made by following a formal application process.
It’s important to keep in mind that your legal entitlement with respect to finances or property is not affected by moving out of your former home. It’s important for both parties to be aware of their joint financial holdings which will then be distributed equitably to each after divorce. Both partners may also need to identify bills, debts etc that need to be paid. Efficient resolution and a fair financial agreement can help reduce the likelihood of penalties etc incurred due to delayed payment or non-payment of bills.
One partner may own assets or financial resources which are not jointly held by both parties. This can be tricky and cumbersome process (especially if the separation is acrimonious). A reliable lawyer can help you identify financial assets that you are legally entitled to share.