Many people misunderstand the principles of property settlement. Some falsely believe that settlements are always equal or that they have no entitlement to property settlement if they did not bring property to the relationship. These are myths.
Each property settlement is determined on the specific facts of each case. There are a number of matters that are taken into account in determining a property settlement. For example, the parties’ contributions of a financial and non-financial nature need to be assessed as well as the parties’ respective needs and financial resources.
Even if a couple reaches their own agreement as to property settlement, it is important that they obtain legal advice as there are a number of financial benefits of having the settlement formalised by Court Orders, such as property stamp duty exemptions. It is essential that all commercial consequences of a proposed property settlement are considered, most importantly the tax consequences.
Superannuation is now considered ‘property’ and Court Orders can be made dividing superannuation funds between a couple.