In Part 1, we talked about the process of getting your financial agreement signed off on by the Court Registrar.

Now, to talk about what the Registrar considers in order to sign off on an agreement. The law says that the division of assets, debts and superannuation after separation (formally called a ‘property settlement’) should be ‘just and equitable’—basically, it needs to be fair having regard to each couples’ particular circumstances. There is no hard and fast rule about dividing assets 70/30 or 50/50.

To determine what is just and equitable, there is a four step process that the Registrar has to consider.

1. The first step is to identify what the asset pool is.

This means identifying all of the  savings, property, superannuation, shares, vehicles and all liabilities in the individual and couples’ names.

2. The second step is to identify what your and your partner’s contributions were to that asset pool.

This means identifying what you and your partner had in assets, debts and superannuation at the time that you and your partner started living together, as well as any lump sums received during the relationship or post separation (for example, inheritances, lotto wins and compensation payments). Also considered are those non-financial contributions, for example if someone did renovations, someone’s family assisted the couple to live rent free, as well as parenting contributions and homemaker contributions.

3. The third step is to consider what your and your partner’s the future needs are.

There are a number of factors that can be relevant and considered such as age, health, income earning ability and care arrangements for children after separation.

4. The final fourth step is to identify whether the proposed financial agreement is ‘just and equitable’. Is the proposed financial agreement fair?

The information that you provide in your agreement documents, if properly drafted and completed, will give the Registrar all of the information that is necessary to make the above determination. Inevitably, there is always a risk of the Registrar refusing to make the proposed financial agreement but there are ways of redressing any rejection or taking additional steps in the first place to reduce the risk of the agreement being rejected.

We specialise in preparing agreement documents for separating individuals and couples. Being experienced family lawyers, we know what is required in order to get your financial agreement over the line. Get in touch with us today for a fixed price to have your agreement documents prepared properly.

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