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:

  1. Determine the asset pool of the parties
  2. Identify and assess the contributions made by each party to the asset pool
  3. Identify and assess the future needs of the parties
  4. Consider whether the proposed property settlement split is just and equitable