We deal with all aspects of relationship property under the Act. The Act applies to the division of property when a de facto relationship, civil union or marriage comes to an end, as a result of separation or death. The Act has jurisdiction over a civil union or de-facto relationship involving same sex couples. The features of the Act are:
- Prima facie relationship property is divided equally, but there are exceptions to this.
- Relationship property includes the family home, family chattels (whenever acquired), and all other assets acquired during the marriage, relationship or civil union including accumulation of income earned during that period.
- A party would be entitled to retain their separate property which includes any asset, other than relationship property, acquired before the commencement of the de facto relationship, marriage or civil union, and as a beneficiary of a Trust or an estate, provided such assets are not intermingled.
- Property assets are usually classified as relationship property or separate property as at the date of separation or date of death. However, the value of such assets are, in most cases, taken at “hearing date” being the date of the Family Court hearing to determine a division of property or upon such date you reach agreement.
- S.44C of the Act now allows the Family Court to compensate a party where relationship property is transferred to a standard Family Trust during the de facto relationship, civil union or marriage.
- A party can also claim compensation for economic disparity. In plain English this allows a party who has given up career opportunities and has incurred a loss as a result of the division of functions in the marriage.
If you have any queries in regard to relationship property, please feel free to contact Lloyd Collins.