How does the family court treat assets and debts incurred after separation?

The Family Court considers debts as genuine if they are for proper purposes. A good purpose might be to move out of the house or to pay for maintenance on an existing asset. If the debt is for gambling or another activity, then that debt is seen to be dissipating the asset pool. If a party wastes the asset pool after separation, then a lawyer might make what they call a 'wastage' argument.

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How are loans and gifts considered in family law?

If something is a loan, then it will need to be paid back out of the property pool, whereas the property pool will include gifts. Disputes often arise as to whether an asset or money is a loan or a gift, and then if it is a gift whether or not it is a joint or sole gift. If it is a joint gift, it is a joint contribution; if it is a gift to one person, it is considered a sole contribution.

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What am I entitled to in a divorce or separation in Australia?

You are entitled to whatever is fair. It varies relationship to relationship as to what the Court considers fair. When determining what is fair, the Court considers your initial contributions, your contributions throughout the relationship and your future needs.

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