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A bit about me!
Clarissa Rayward
Director Brisbane Family Law Centre
Accredited Family Law Specialist
Mediator & Collaborative Family Lawyer
Also known as “The Happy Family Lawyer”
www.thehappyfamilylawyer.com
How will this work?
• Please ask questions
• This is general information
and remember you should
obtain advice specific to
your family
What are we going to cover?
1. Common legal confusions
2. Legal principles relating to financial
matters
3. How to negotiate an agreement
relating to financial matters
4. What sort of legal document do you
need
5. Important time frames
6. Other things to think about
The 3 legal issues to consider-
1. Financial matters (property/ child
support/ spousal maintenance)
2. Parenting matters
3. Divorce
Today we are focusing on property
division and spousal maintenance
The common
legal confusions
about financial
matters after
separation!
• I am entitled to 70%!
• I had it before we met-
It’s mine!
• I earned all the money!
• I want the house!
• It’s just 50/50 right?
• But it was my inheritance!
• He does not need to know
about that account!
Property Division
The division between you and your
former partner of all the things that you
have together
Assets
Liabilities
Superannuation
Financial Resources
Does it matter
if we are not
married?
Property Division
The Legal Principles
The 4 stage process-
1. What do you have
2. How did you get it
3. What else should be considered
4. Is the division ‘just and equitable’
Step 1- What do you
have?
Identify the property/ financial
resources/ superannuation of
each of you
Value how & when?
Think about how you might
gather this
information?
Step 2- How did you get it?
Assess the contributions made by each of
you to the assets of the relationship
3 main types of contributions-
1. Financial
2. Non-financial
3. Welfare of the family
Timing & type of contributions are all
relevant
Step 3
What else to consider
19 Section 75(2) factors
The Crystal Ball Step…
Trying to look into the future
Step 4
Is it Just and Equitable?
The type of assets and their ‘value’ is
as important as the %…
For example- Best v Best (1993)
A few things to remember
1. It is the value of the things
you have on the day you
finalise a settlement, not the
date of separation
2. This is a ‘discretionary’ area
of law- therefore there is
limited certainty
Spousal Maintenance
The financial support provided
by one spouse to the other
after separation
Spousal Maintenance
The Legal Principles
1. One spouse can demonstrate a ‘need’ for
support
2. The other spouse has the capacity to meet
this need
There are different types of maintenance-
Interim, cash or in kind
Important Time Frames
Defacto- 2 years from the
date of separation
Married- 12 months from the
date of divorce
So what does all this
mean?
The Courts should be your
last resort. You and your
partner are the best
decision makers in relation
to your finances
So what should you do?
There are 3 options-
1. No formal agreement
2. Binding Financial Agreement
3. Court Order (by consent or as
determined by a Court)
How can you reach agreement?
There are 5 main ways
1. Kitchen table- do it yourself
2. Mediation/ Family Dispute Resolution
3. Collaborative Practice
4. Solicitor based negotiation
5. Court Determination
5 Top Tips when negotiating Financial Matters
1. Understand what is really important to you
How do you want life to look for you and your spouse?
What are your goals & values?
Where do you hope to be in a year?
It is never really about “70%”
2. Balance in Commercial Realities
Financial and emotional cost of a dispute
3. Obtain financial advice about your options
4. There is more than one solution to every
problem
5. Look for options that are ‘win win’
Try and generate as many ‘solutions’ or ‘options’ as you can &
then look at the pros and cons of each before deciding how and
when to negotiate
If you can understand
what is important to your
spouse (financial security,
home ownership) then you
can look for solutions that
will meet both of your goals
Any Questions?
Wednesday 27 August
12.30pm
THANK YOU!
The Happy Family Lawyer's Guide to Financial Matters After Separation

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The Happy Family Lawyer's Guide to Financial Matters After Separation

  • 1.
  • 2. A bit about me! Clarissa Rayward Director Brisbane Family Law Centre Accredited Family Law Specialist Mediator & Collaborative Family Lawyer Also known as “The Happy Family Lawyer” www.thehappyfamilylawyer.com
  • 3. How will this work? • Please ask questions • This is general information and remember you should obtain advice specific to your family
  • 4. What are we going to cover? 1. Common legal confusions 2. Legal principles relating to financial matters 3. How to negotiate an agreement relating to financial matters 4. What sort of legal document do you need 5. Important time frames 6. Other things to think about
  • 5. The 3 legal issues to consider- 1. Financial matters (property/ child support/ spousal maintenance) 2. Parenting matters 3. Divorce Today we are focusing on property division and spousal maintenance
  • 6. The common legal confusions about financial matters after separation!
  • 7. • I am entitled to 70%! • I had it before we met- It’s mine! • I earned all the money! • I want the house! • It’s just 50/50 right? • But it was my inheritance! • He does not need to know about that account!
  • 8. Property Division The division between you and your former partner of all the things that you have together Assets Liabilities Superannuation Financial Resources
  • 9. Does it matter if we are not married?
  • 10. Property Division The Legal Principles The 4 stage process- 1. What do you have 2. How did you get it 3. What else should be considered 4. Is the division ‘just and equitable’
  • 11. Step 1- What do you have? Identify the property/ financial resources/ superannuation of each of you Value how & when? Think about how you might gather this information?
  • 12. Step 2- How did you get it? Assess the contributions made by each of you to the assets of the relationship 3 main types of contributions- 1. Financial 2. Non-financial 3. Welfare of the family Timing & type of contributions are all relevant
  • 13. Step 3 What else to consider 19 Section 75(2) factors The Crystal Ball Step… Trying to look into the future
  • 14. Step 4 Is it Just and Equitable? The type of assets and their ‘value’ is as important as the %… For example- Best v Best (1993)
  • 15. A few things to remember 1. It is the value of the things you have on the day you finalise a settlement, not the date of separation 2. This is a ‘discretionary’ area of law- therefore there is limited certainty
  • 16. Spousal Maintenance The financial support provided by one spouse to the other after separation
  • 17. Spousal Maintenance The Legal Principles 1. One spouse can demonstrate a ‘need’ for support 2. The other spouse has the capacity to meet this need There are different types of maintenance- Interim, cash or in kind
  • 18. Important Time Frames Defacto- 2 years from the date of separation Married- 12 months from the date of divorce
  • 19. So what does all this mean? The Courts should be your last resort. You and your partner are the best decision makers in relation to your finances
  • 20. So what should you do? There are 3 options- 1. No formal agreement 2. Binding Financial Agreement 3. Court Order (by consent or as determined by a Court)
  • 21. How can you reach agreement? There are 5 main ways 1. Kitchen table- do it yourself 2. Mediation/ Family Dispute Resolution 3. Collaborative Practice 4. Solicitor based negotiation 5. Court Determination
  • 22. 5 Top Tips when negotiating Financial Matters 1. Understand what is really important to you How do you want life to look for you and your spouse? What are your goals & values? Where do you hope to be in a year? It is never really about “70%” 2. Balance in Commercial Realities Financial and emotional cost of a dispute
  • 23. 3. Obtain financial advice about your options 4. There is more than one solution to every problem 5. Look for options that are ‘win win’ Try and generate as many ‘solutions’ or ‘options’ as you can & then look at the pros and cons of each before deciding how and when to negotiate
  • 24. If you can understand what is important to your spouse (financial security, home ownership) then you can look for solutions that will meet both of your goals