Separation and Property Division – The Four Step Process (article 4 of 5)
Step 3 – Identify the ongoing and future needs of the parties
The third step is to identify any factors which need to be taken into account having regard to the ongoing and future needs of each party. Future needs can cover a range of factors for which the parties in a relationship may face in unequal proportions.
Factors can include –
- The age of each party;
- Health needs or concerns;
- Current and future potential earning capacity;
- Physical or mental capacity of a party to gain employment in the future;
- Parental responsibility for a child under the age of 18 years;
- Whether a party has to care for and support another person;
- What each party requires to have a reasonable standard of living;
- What other financial resources (or future financial benefits) are available to a party. These can include a beneficiary’s interest in a discretionary trust, the ability of one party to raise funds for example borrowings, long service leave entitlements, a future pension entitlement, tax losses or an anticipated inheritance.
After considering these circumstances an adjustment may be made to the contribution percentage. That adjusted percentage is applied to the net asset pool to determine the split or division of the net asset pool.
Our next article will discuss the final step in the process which is to determine whether the outcome of any property settlement is fair and equitable to both parties.