CONSENT ORDERS IN AUSTRALIA


FINANCIAL ORDERS

The basis of the Court’s decision regarding division of property

Section 79(4) and of the Family Law Act sets out the matters which the Court must take into account in deciding whether to make any orders altering property interests which can be summarised as follows:

  1. The financial contribution made by each party to the marriage or a child of the marriage, to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property of the parties to the marriage or to property that used to be owned by both/either party of the marriage;
  2. The contribution (other than a financial contribution) made by a party to the marriage or a child of the marriage to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property of the parties to the marriage or to property that used to be owned by both/either party of the marriage;
  3. The contribution made by a party to the marriage to the welfare of the family constituted by the parties to the marriage and any children of the marriage, including any contribution made in the capacity of homemaker or parent;
  4. The effect of any proposed order upon the earning capacity of either party to the marriage;
  5. The matters referred to in subsection 75(2) so far as they are relevant (see below); and
  6. Any child support under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 that a party to the marriage has provided, is to provide or might be liable to provide in the future, for a child of the marriage.

The factors listed in section 75(2) relate both to property settlement (where relevant) and to the issue of spousal maintenance (discussed in the next chapter).These factors can be summarised as follows:

  • The age and health of the parties;
  • The income, property and financial resources of each party;
  • Whether either party has the care of any children under 18;
  • The commitments necessary to support each party and any children or other people;
  • Any responsibilities to support children or other people;
  • Eligibility of either party for a pension, allowance or benefit;
  • Reasonable standard of living where parties have separated or marriage dissolved;
  • Duration of marriage and extent to which it has affected the earning capacity of a party seeking maintenance;
  • The need to protect the party who wishes to continue as a parent;
  • If either party is co-habiting, the financial circumstances of that; and
  • Any child support assessment.

For more information on Consent Orders in Australia call AussieLegal on 1300 728 200.