Each case is different and is determined by its own facts. The Court will determine the property division based on contributions (financial and non-financial, including homemaking contributions), across the whole relationship (before, during and post-separation).  The court will then also consider the future financial resources and future needs of both parties, and also the overall justice and fairness of a property adjustment in all the circumstances.

The court then gives weight to these contributions and the particular facts and circumstances of the relationship, and decides on a fair proportion of property adjustment between the parties, in light of these factors.

However, the court may not necessarily make an adjustment at all – for example, in cases of a short relationship, or where contributions were significant on one side and minimal on the other side.

Disputes can arise on specific aspects of each case, or there can be a wide number of issues in dispute.   Your lawyer can assist by identifying the issues in dispute, and prioritising these issues, and how they fit into settlement options.

Some issues in dispute can be factual – for example, the value of an asset (which can be resolved by obtaining an independent expert valuation), or whether an asset exists (which can be resolved by ‘discovery’ and financial disclosure procedures, with or without court action).  

Some aspects of the dispute can be legal issues – for example, as to the weight that would be given to certain contributions in the particular facts of the case, or whether an asset should be included or excluded from the asset pool (and here the parties will need to be guided by legal advice as to likely court outcomes, based on earlier court judgements).