Following the breakdown of a marriage or de-facto relationship it may be necessary for parties to determine how they divide assets and liabilities. This can be achieved in a number of different ways.

Parties may agree on the division of the property pool and do so accordingly. They may also seek to formalise this agreement by applying for consent orders in the Family Court or entering into a binding financial agreement.

However, if parties are unable to reach an agreement, they may make an application to the Court. Divorcees need to file this application within 12 months of the date of their divorce while de facto partners need to file within 2 years of their separation.

As part of the process in property matters, both parties are required to provide ‘full and frank’ disclosure of their assets and debts.

In determining what orders should be made for the division of property, there are a number of steps that need to be considered. The court will take into account the contribution, financial and otherwise, each party made to the relationship, any children, and to the property. The court will also consider the effect any orders may have on the future earning capacity and may consider personal circumstances including the age, health, and mental state of parties.

So, how can you determine the value of property?

Interestingly, when determining the value of property such as real estate, household contents and motor vehicles for property settlements, the insured value is not relied upon. Rather, the property will be valued at market value. If there is a dispute about the value of an assets, it may be necessary to appoint a joint expert to undertake a valuation, however this valuation may come at a cost.

This information is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice.

Lucy Urach

Lucy Urach

Family Lawyer