Financial & Property
Whether you have a little or a lot, we can help you maximise your outcomes from a family breakdown. Our aim is to get you through this tough time in your life as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.
There are no hard and fast rules about how property will be divided. Each family is unique, and we will evaluate your case on its facts.
So that we can properly advise you, often we will start a case by requesting Financial Disclosure. Financial disclosure is required purusant to the Family Law Rules so that you can make informed decisions about your property settlement. We will generally ask you and your ex partner to provide us with the following documents:-
- Tax returns and assessments for the last 3 years;
- Bank account statements for all accounts held by you individually, or with another for the last year;
- Current superannuation statement(s);
- Current share statements;
- Any other information required to identify the nature and value of your assets and liabilities.
People often find it uncomfortable sharing this sensitive financial information with their former partner, particularly when you have been separated for some time. Unfortunately, it is a necessary step in the property settlement process, and to withhold information would be at your own peril. Should you refuse to make financial disclosure, you are at risk of a cost order being made against you, or your final settlement could be set aside if the failure to disclose was serious or fraudulent.
Each person makes contributions to the assets and liabilities of a relationship, and the timing, value and effort will all be given weight.
Contributions can take many forms, including the following:-
- Income from employment, or investments;
- Contributions as a homemaker or parent;
- Windfalls, compensaton, redundancy payments etc.
- Effort in the form of labour - such as renovations to a home.
Property adjustments are often necessary to balance the parties' respective future needs. Some of the future needs the court will consider include:-
- The care and maintenance of children;
- Respective income earning capacities of the parties;
- Health of the parties and the children that they care for;
- Ages of the parties.
In some circumstances, particularly when there is a large disparity between the income or wealth of the parties following separation, the person in the more advantageous position may be liable to pay spousal maintenance. This is different to, and in addition to, any child support liability, and can be made payable weekly, monthly or as a lump sum.
Self Managed Superannuation, Business, Companies and Trusts
When the matrimonial or relationship assets or businesses are held in Corporate or Trust structures it can add a layer of complexity to a family law property settlement.
You need a lawyer that can ask the right questions, perform targeted searches, request the correct disclosure and know the right experts to engage.
When you hire a family lawyer at Mason Lawyers, should the need arise, you can draw on experts from a range of different in house experts in other fields such as:
- Taxation Law
- Trust and Equity
- Corporate Law
- Estate Planning
We often act for a party who knows very little about their spouses' corporate, or trust structures. We can help you understand the structures and ensure that the true value of the assets is reflected on the balance sheet to maximise the ultimate settlement you receive.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to:-