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Division Of Property
Equalisation of Net Family Property
When your marriage ends, the Family Law Act provides for the division of your family’s Net Family Property. This requires you and your spouse to complete and compare your financial statements. The person with the higher net family property is required to make a payment of half the amount of the difference between the two amounts to the spouse with the lower amount of net family property. That means the higher worth spouse pays the lower worth spouse so that both walk away from the marriage with equal value
Sounds simple? It should be, but often isn’t.
One or both spouse’s reluctance to disclose financial information is one of the most challenging issues in the separation and divorce process. Many people also fail to consider the tax consequences of their financial arrangements to their detriment.
Division of Common Law Property
Practically speaking, common-law spouses are each able to keep what they contributed to the relationship. The challenge is determining what they brought and the value of their contribution, when it was made, and at separation.
Recent cases recognize that some couples intend to form a “joint family venture” during their relationships. That means they intended to enter into the same kind of joint economic, and social relationship that legally married couples have, but without the formal legal marriage. If the couple have found to be engaged in a joint family venture, then the courts will decide how much each should obtain from the total assets. Their actions and the financial consequences are examined to decide each partner’s share.
Seasoned counsel is required in these more complex property cases which may involve tax implications of payments and determining the existence and consequences of a joint family venture. We at Sterling Law are experienced in Equalisation of Net Family and Division of Property issues and are prepared to guide you through this area with the meticulous care that is required.