Going through a divorce or separation is a tough time for any family, and things can become even more complicated when it comes to dividing property and assets. The 4-step process of family law settlements is a framework that is used to determine a fair property division between separating or divorcing couples in Australia.
Benefits of the 4-step process
The 4-step process of family law settlements is widely accepted as a framework for dividing property in a fair and reasonable way. The process provides a structured approach to resolving disputes and helps to minimize conflict between you. It is also designed to make sure that the outcome is just and equitable, taking into account the unique circumstances of each of you.
By following the 4-step process, you’re able to negotiate and reach an agreement that is tailored to your specific needs. This helps to avoid a “one size fits all” approach and ensures that the outcome is fair to both of you.
Step 1: Identify your assets and liabilities
The first step in the process is to identify all the assets and liabilities that you own both jointly and individually at the time you are negotiating the settlement. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investments, cars, and other personal property, as well as any debts. Having a clear understanding of the assets and liabilities before proceeding with the settlement process is crucial.
Step 2: Assess the contributions you both made
The second step is to assess the contributions that each of you has made to the relationship. This includes financial contributions such as income and inheritances, as well as non-financial contributions such as caring for children or maintaining the family home. The law considers contributions made before, during, and after your relationship.
Step 3: Consider your future needs
The third step is to consider the future needs of each of you, taking into account factors such as age, health, earning capacity, and the care of children. This step makes sure that the settlement is fair and reasonable, given both your circumstances. Your future needs are considered by assessing your capacity to support yourself in the future, both financially and non-financially.
Step 4: Evaluate the overall outcome of the agreement
The fourth and final step is to evaluate the overall outcome of the proposed settlement and ensure that it is just and equitable. This includes considering factors such as taxation, legal costs, and the practicality of any proposed arrangements. This step makes sure that the settlement is fair for both of you
It’s important to note that the process of family law settlements can be quite complex, and the steps are not always followed in the same order. At The Separation Guide, our recommendation is that you seek advice from a family law specialist who can help you navigate the process and provide expert advice on property settlements.
Divorce or separation is a challenging time, and property settlements can make it even more complicated. The 4-step process of family law settlements provides a structured approach to resolving disputes and ensures that the outcome is fair and reasonable. Seeking the advice of a family law specialist is crucial to navigate the process with confidence and reach an agreement that is tailored to your specific needs. Remember, the key to a successful property settlement is to stay calm, be informed, and seek expert advice.
The Separation Guide aims to make separation and divorce simpler, more manageable and less stressful. To learn more about how one of our Network Members could support your separation, take our free three-minute Q&A.
The information in our resources is general only. Consider getting in touch with a professional adviser if you need legal, financial or well-being support.