Nobody enters into a marriage with the assumption that it will end in divorce. However, when you take into consideration the staggering numbers of relationships that eventually break down, it is always best to prepare for the unexpected. The complexities of divorce are compounded by an array of factors, which is why it is still prudent to hire a family law solicitor to guide you through the process. And one of the most frequently asked questions by couples who are going through a divorce is who will get what when the property has to be divvied up? The following piece seeks to enlighten you on the steps that go into property settlement after the disintegration of a marriage.
Identification of the assets
Before any settlement can be agreed upon, it is mandatory to determine the extent of the assets that are in question. These assets could include superannuation interests, investment and even capital. Take note that liabilities are also included in the identification of the assets. Once the assets are established, the next step is determining under whose name they are under or if they are held jointly. Since everything needs to be pooled together, both parties will be expected to hand in any pertinent information regarding their finances to make the process as transparent as possible.
Assessment of the finances
The next stage of property settlement involves assessing all the contributions that are made via the relationship into the union. The inputs are not limited to either party. For instance, if any family members of the spouses have or currently contribute to the welfare of the union, their contribution will also be included in the assessment. In addition to this, both the incomes and assets of each individual will be assessed to determine the percentage that each individual contributes to the finances of the family.
Assessment of current and future earning potential
Once the percentage of each partners contribution is determined, it will be time to assess the earning potential of each individual. In addition to the amount of money each person makes form their work (or if they are unemployed), the assessment will also factor in the health of each spouse, who will provide primary care to the children and the impact the relationship has had on each person's earning potential. For example, if you had to stop working to care for the kids while your partner pursued their career it will be factored into the property settlement too.
Once all these steps are complete, the court will put them into consideration to determine what will be an equitable property settlement for each partner. Nonetheless, since there is never a specific formula for coming to a particular amount, it is always best to have a family law solicitor through the proceedings.