Questions surrounding a party’s entitlement to the asset pool arises frequently in family law and is often a complex question to answer. Determining what someone is entitled to receive in a financial case involves careful consideration of what is referred to as the ‘5-step process’. At Ramsden Lawyers, we understand the importance of answering these questions. Let us guide you through the essential steps the court considers when assessing someone’s financial entitlement to the asset pool in family law cases.
Watch the Latest Video from Ailsa Day, Special Counsel on Financial Entitlements
In her latest video, Special Counsel Ailsa Day sheds light on financial entitlements in family law matters. With her extensive experience in family law, Ailsa provides an overview of the relevant matters the Court considers when working through the 5-step process to determine financial cases. She emphasises that this process is complex and involves assessing various factors unique to each case. Ailsa’s insights provide valuable guidance to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of their financial entitlement to their assets in family law. Take advantage of this informative video and gain clarity on your family law matter.
The 5-Step Process: Understanding Financial Entitlements
Step 1: Whether it is ‘Just and Equitable’ to make any Order
The Court first considers whether it is “just and equitable” to make any financial orders. There are some cases where it is not appropriate for the Court to intervene in family law matters, such as where the current financial situation does not require an adjustment from the Court. This step was added recently to address the need to determine if financial orders are appropriate in specific situations.
Step 2: Assessing the Asset Pool
Next, the court evaluates the value and extent of assets to be included in the case. This consists of all assets, liabilities, and financial resources that both parties have an interest in or control over. The net position is calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets, forming what is known as the asset pool.
Step 3: Contributions-Based Calculation
This step involves analysing the contributions made by each party to the asset pool and over the course of the relationship. Factors such as initial contributions, contributions during the relationship such as the roles performed by each party during the relationship, inheritances, financial windfalls, and post-separation contributions are considered. A contributions-based entitlement is then calculated in percentage form.
Step 4: s75(2) Considerations
The next consideration is what is commonly referred to as future factors pursuant to s75(2), which included such considerations as income earning capacity, age, health of the parties and child custody arrangements. These considerations lead to a s75(2) entitlement which is calculated in percentage terms. This is then calculated with the contribution-based assessment to formulate an overall entitlement to the asset pool which is reduced to a percentage (such as an equal division or a 60/40% split).
Step 5: Whether the outcome arrived at is ‘Just and Equitable’
The final step after calculating each party’s entitlement is to consider whether the overall outcome is just and equitable in all the circumstances. It is essential to recognise that each family law matter is unique, and the Courts power is discretionary, leading to varied outcomes based on the evidence presented at trial.
Consulting Ramsden Lawyers for Expert Guidance on Financial Entitlements
Our experienced family lawyers at Ramsden Lawyers are dedicated to providing sound advice on financial entitlements in family law matters. We offer a confidential consultation if you seek further assistance or need advice. Contact us today, and let us help you navigate the complexities of your family law matter.