Divorce is difficult for many reasons: hurt feelings, loss, and adjustments to parental roles. However, don’t underestimate the strain of dividing property – both possessions and finances. Even if you feel that you don’t have much to divide, there may be a lot that you don’t consider. All of your household possessions, any money you have (however little it may seem), as well as any debt go into the equation.
If you and your spouse can’t immediately decide after separation, there are ways to look at the division the way a Family Court would. These are things you need to think about and adjust your expectations accordingly.
What do I need to disclose?
We hear a lot about people trying to hide assets during a divorce. In reality, you’re required to disclose everything. That includes bank statements for at least the last three year, pay slips, your business’s bank statements, income tax assessments, superannuation statements and a list of all assets. Basically, you need to disclose any income, assets, or liabilities you have, even in the form of gifts.
During negotiation, you and your spouse add up the value of all assets and subtract liabilities. That becomes your net asset pool.
What is my contribution?
You’ll look at the contribution of both spouses. Your contribution is all income and assets you brought in, minus your liabilities.
There may be adjustments for unnecessary spending. What that means is that you shouldn’t make large purchases without getting legal advice first. Some examples of unnecessary spending include gambling, large investments, a drug habit, and even gifts to others. If the court believes that you are trying to hide assets or reduce the asset pool, they can change the division to favour the other party.
If your spouse has reason to believe that you’re hiding assets, they can investigate. Subpoenas may be required. Investigations aren’t always conducted, but the best way to handle it is to disclose everything up front.
When going through a divorce or separation, you need to consider all assets and the fair way to divide the assets. It’s not an easy process, but it can be less painful if you know what to expect.
To find out more about how Leach Legal can help, call us now to book a free 15-minute telephone consultation or to book an in-person consultation.