When you separate from your life partner through a divorce, you wish to know how much you will receive from your property settlement agreement and how child custody will affect the court decisions on the property settlement conditions. Under the Family Law Act 1975 Australia, the courts have the authority to make changes to property interests for both parties if it is satisfied that it is justified and equitable to do so. While making the property settlement order, the court will look for financial contributions made by both parties and other factors like child custody, future needs, etc. Let’s discuss how child custody lawyers proceed during the property settlements stage to get privileges related to child support in the property settlement agreement.

Divorce Property Settlement 4-step Approach

The Courts of Australia have to look at both financial and non-financial contributions made by both parties to the property. They also have to ensure the family welfare and children's care are taken care of while finalizing the property settlement agreement. These aspects make divorce settlement a highly complex process, especially placing a cost value on non-financial contributions. Hence, the court follows a 4-step approach to devise a property settlement agreement between a divorced couple so that justice is served in the right way.

  • PART A – Establish an asset pool

The first step of a property settlement agreement after divorce is for the court to get financial records of both parties and assess their worth. It means disclosing the bank balance in the personal and business accounts, the value of properties owned by both, the share values, and any interests received from a trust, trade, or a company. Both parties must also share details regarding debts owed to banks and the government.

  • PART B – The contributions made during the relationship

The second step of a property settlement agreement after a divorce is to assess what contributions each party has made during the relationship. It includes both financial & non-financial contributions. Financial contributions comprise wages, gifts, government payments, or inheritances received. Non-financial contributions include housework, taking care of the children, and renovating the house. Child custody lawyers will furnish the details related to child care expenses to the court for better assessment. 

PART C – What are the future requirements of the parties

The third step of a property settlement agreement after a divorce is to get an understanding of the future needs of each party. After finalizing the respective shares of the property calculated on the above contributions, the court then makes what is known as an ‘adjustment. It covers factors including the future needs of each party. The courts look at a range of things like future earning capacity, the health condition of each person involved, the ages of each party, job prospects & financial resources, child custody arrangement after divorce, the marriage duration, and the extent to which it has affected the future earning potential of the parties.

PART D – Is the decision unbiased & equitable to both parties?

The fourth step of a property settlement agreement after a divorce is when the court looks at whether its decision will be unbiased and equitable for both parties. Then they decide on whether you can keep certain assets or not or if they should go to the previous partner. Women with dependent children are at a huge disadvantage when compared to men in terms of their financial situation and their earning potential post marital dissolution. In particular, single mothers & older women living a solitary life after divorce can experience a drastic reduction in living standards. Therefore, the court may need to make higher adjustments in favor of them due to their inability to generate sufficient income. 

Property settlement agreement after divorce, along with child custody, can be both emotional and tricky for both parties and court members involved. But if you understand the procedure beforehand, either through your own research or through child custody lawyers who can help you make a good case for getting the best compensation and asset ownership outcomes.