My Ex Has a New De Facto – How Does This Affect The Property Settlement Process?

property settlement process | Dandenong Family Lawyers

Discovering that your ex-partner has entered into a new de facto relationship can bring up a host of questions, particularly regarding how this affects the property settlement process.

In Australian family law, a new partner’s financial circumstances can influence the outcome of your property settlement. This article delves into the key aspects of how your ex’s new de facto relationship might impact the property settlement process.

The Usual Approach to Property Settlement Process

When it comes to property settlement process, the court typically follows a four-step process:

  1. Identification and Valuation of Assets and Liabilities: The assets and liabilities of both parties are identified and valued. This includes assets owned jointly with a new partner.
  2. Assessment of Contributions: The court considers each party’s contributions during the relationship (financial and non-financial).
  3. Consideration of Future Needs: Factors like the income, property, and financial resources of each party, including the financial circumstances of any new de facto relationship, are taken into account.
  4. Just and Equitable Orders: Finally, the court determines what property division is just and equitable.

πŸ”‘ Key Takeaway: Introducing a new partner can influence the asset pool and the assessment of future needs in a property settlement process.

Impact of a New Partner’s Finances

The finances of a new de facto partner can be a significant factor, primarily if assets are jointly owned or if the new relationship changes your financial needs. For instance:

  • Jointly Owned Assets: If you have acquired property or debts with your new partner, your share of these may be included in the settlement.
  • Financial Support: If your new partner supports you financially, this could be seen as reducing your financial needs.

πŸ”‘ Key Takeaway: Joint assets with a new partner and their financial support can affect the property settlement process.

Maintenance Considerations

The court also considers maintenance applications, focusing on each party’s needs and the other’s capacity to pay.

The financial circumstances of a new de facto relationship are crucial here, significantly if the new partner contributes to household expenses or their financial support reduces the need for maintenance from the ex-partner.

πŸ”‘Β Key Takeaway:Β The financial support from a new de facto partner can impact maintenance considerations in property settlements.

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Protecting Your Interests

It’s advisable to consider a Binding Financial Agreement with your new partner to safeguard your financial interests. This agreement can outline how assets and liabilities would be divided if the new relationship ends.

πŸ”‘ Key Takeaway: A Binding Financial Agreement can provide financial security in your new relationship.

Providing Assistance To Our Clients: Property Settlement Process

Recently, our law firm assisted a client, a divorced mother, who sought clarity on how her ex-husband’s new relationship might impact their property settlement.

Under Australian law, introducing a new partner can significantly influence the financial aspects of a divorce settlement.

Our team explained that if her ex-husband had acquired assets with his new partner, these could potentially be included in the property pool for division.

We also discussed how his new relationship could affect the assessment of his financial capacity, possibly impacting spousal maintenance arrangements.

Our approach was to meticulously review her ex-husband’s current financial situation, including any changes brought about by his new relationship.

We then provided comprehensive advice on her legal rights and options, ensuring she understood the potential outcomes.

Our goal was to empower her with knowledge and legal strategies to navigate this complex situation, aiming for a fair and equitable resolution in line with Australian family law.

Consult With Legal Professional

Introducing a new de facto partner in property settlement matters complicates the process.

Understanding how their financial circumstances intertwine with yours is crucial for a fair outcome.

Consulting with a legal professional specialising in family law is always recommended to navigate these intricacies effectively.



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