Kydon Segal Lawyers


Divorce and Property Settlement


How do I get divorced?

Australia has a ‘no fault’ divorce system. This means that the only grounds for obtaining a divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’. In order to prove an ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ you and your spouse must have separated for a minimum period of 12 months.

Once you and your spouse have been separated for a minimum period of 12 months, you can make a joint or sole application to the Court for a divorce. However, there are several legal consequences particularly in relation to property that arise from obtaining a divorce and you should obtain legal advice prior.


How do I get a fair property settlement?

There are four steps that often come into consideration when obtaining a ‘fair’ property settlement.

    1. Identifying the asset pool to be divided.

      This involves valuing all of the assets, liabilities and superannuation held by both you and your partner.
    2. Assessing the financial, non-financial and parenting/homemaker contributions made by each party. 

      The second step involves assessing the contributions made by you and your partner to obtaining, maintaining and conserving your property pool.Financial contributions do not just include direct financial contributions such as income applied but can also include indirect financial contributions such as using a property you had prior as security to assist your partner and you purchase a family home or the financial assistance provided by your parents.Non-financial contributions include things such as assisting with renovations on the matrimonial home and homemaker/parenting contributions include things such as cooking, washing and taking care of the children.

      Based on these contributions an initial percentage for division of the property pool in accordance with step 1 will be determined.

    3. Considering whether the percentage for division contained at step 2 should be varied. 

      In considering if there should be any variation to the percentage several factors will need to be considered, including the age and health of you and your partner, the financial resources of you and your partner, the care arrangements for your children, you and your partner’s earning capacity and eligibility for social security benefit

    4. Determining whether the division is ‘just and equitable’ 

      Every relationship is different and therefore determining what is just and equitable differs from case to case. It is important to seek legal advice as each of the steps involved in reaching a property settlement are complex in nature and depend heavily on individual circumstances.

Need further advice?

If you are experiencing a hard time dealing with your separation, having a good family lawyer/divorce lawyer can help and make a huge difference during this stressful and trying time. To find out more, contact Kydon Segal Lawyers today.