The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have jurisdiction to make Orders for the alteration of property interests of the parties to a marriage or de facto relationship under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
The legislation requires parties to make a genuine effort to resolve their property settlement dispute prior to filing an application to the Court.
Each case is different, contrary to popular belief; there is no automatic right or presumption in every case to have a property settlement. The ultimate goal of the Court is to ensure that the property settlement is just and equitable.
A Four-Step Process should be applied in order to ascertain whether a just and equitable settlement is reached by the parties:
- Determine the asset pool of the parties
- Identify and assess the contributions made by each party to the asset pool
- Identify and assess the future needs of the parties
- Consider whether the proposed property settlement split is just and equitable