The Court cannot make orders for the alteration of property interests unless it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances, it is just and equitable to make the order

The general principles for a court to settle financial disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 are based on:

  • Working out your assets and liabilities; that is, what you've got (including superannuation) and what you owe; and what they are worth. 
  • Looking at the contributions made by both parties during the marriage or relationship including:
    • direct financial contributions to the the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property, such as wage and salary earnings
    • indirect financial contributions to the the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property, such as gifts and inheritance from families
    • direct and indirect non-financial contributions to the the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property.
    • contributions to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made in the capacity as parent and homemaker
  • The future needs of the parties having regard to things such as age, health, care of children, income and financial resources of the parties

You can read the law which outlines these factors in Section 75 and Section 79 and Part VIIIAB of the Family Law Act 1975 (if you were married) or in Section 90SF and Section 90SM and PART VIIIAB of the Family Law Act 1975 (if you were in a de facto relationship).

In addition, the Court, as far as practicable, is to make orders which will finalise the financial relationship between the parties (Section 81 of the Family Law Act).

Emphasis on resolving disputes

Where it is appropriate, parties are encouraged to reach agreements without a court hearing. 

See Dispute Resolution for more information.
See Dispute Resolution for more information.

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