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Who gets what in divorce or separation?

Emma Mead of Burke and Mead Lawyers advises that there is no formula used to divide your property and that no one can really tell you exactly what orders a judicial officer will make. It is a matter for the court to decide using its own judgement and based on the evidence before it.

The decision is made after all the evidence is heard and the judicial officer decides what is just and equitable based on the unique facts of your case.

The Family Law Act 1975 sets out the general principles including:

  • Working out what you’ve got and what you owe, that is your assets and debts and what they are worth. This is the pool of assets.
  • Considering the direct financial contributions by each party to the relationship.
  • Considering the indirect financial contributions by each party such as gifts and inheritances from families.
  • Thinking about the direct or indirect non-financial contributions, such as renovating a property.
  • Thinking about the contributions of each party to the welfare of the family, such as caring for children and homemaking.
  • Asking what the future requirements of the parties are – a court will take into account things like age, health, financial resources, care of children and ability to earn.

In general terms, how your assets and debts are going to be shared between you will depend on the individual circumstances of you, your partner and your family.

And for these reasons, your settlement will probably be different from others you have heard about.


The Separation Guide aims to make separation and divorce simpler, more manageable and less stressful. To find out more about how one of our Network Members could support your separation, take our free 3-minute Q&A.

The information in our resources is general only. Consider getting in touch with a professional adviser if you need support with your legal, financial or wellbeing needs.

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Pool of Assets Calculator

The Separation Guide's Pool of Assets Calculator is designed to help you identify and value the assets, superannuation and liabilities in your relationship.

Pool of Assets Calculator