The Court has a 4 step approach it will follow when making a property division:
- Creating a net asset poolFirstly, the Court has to collate all the parties’ personal assets and liabilities and the current market value for the entire pool is ascertained. Where there is dispute about the value of particular items in the net asset pool, independent valuations may be required. It is therefore essential that you disclose all assets and liabilities held in your name or in trust for you.
- Considering the parties’ financial and non-financial contributionsSecondly, the Court will determine the parties’ financial contributions (income, inheritance, windfalls etc) and non-financial contributions (care of children, homemaker contributions, renovations to home, labour towards maintenance of home etc) made towards the asset pool.
- Considering the future needs of the partiesThirdly, the Court will identify the current and future needs of the parties (age, state of health,care of children under the age of 18 etc) .
- Considering whether the proposed Orders are just and equitableFinally, the Court must ensure that the property division is fair. Consequently, the practical effect of the Orders is not usually an equal division of the net asset pool as it highly depends on each individual’s personal circumstances.