How does the family court treat 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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Should you finalise your financial separation sooner rather than later?

It is no secret those that come out of family law unscathed are those that reached a mutual agreement and formally documented that agreement early. Many separating couples are amicable at some point and agree on things without lawyers. However, it's at that exact point separating couples need to inject some law into the agreement and formalise it.

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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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Duty of disclosure in Family Law

All parties involved in a family law dispute are required to provide to each party and the Court all information which is relevant to an issue in the case. If your case involves financial issues, then in addition to general disclosure requirements, you are required to provide full and frank disclosure. If your case relates to parenting matters, then you are under an obligation to provide each party involved in the case, all documents that may be relevant.

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How to do a property settlement yourself

Virtually all property you’ve accumulated during your marriage should be included for division between the parties. We can help you gather everything you need. To make sure you get what you are entitled to the first step is to know what’s really in the property pool. To do this you need to gather any documents related to your assets or liabilities.

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How to negotiate a property settlement

Depending on the size of the asset pool and your ex's cooperation, a judge working out how property gets split is usually not going to be an excellent outcome for either party. The best result is by a negotiated settlement with the assistance of an experienced family lawyer, and this avoids the cost and uncertainty of court orders.

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