Separation and Property Division – The Four Step Process (article 1 of 5)
When a relationship ends, a decision will need to be made with respect to the division of assets (property) and debts. Where an agreement cannot be reached, you can apply to the court for financial orders, including orders relating to the division of property.
In property settlement disputes there is a four step approach taken by the Court when assessing a property settlement. This four step process really only begins after the parties have satisfied an initial step and that is to determine whether or not there should be an adjustment at all of the assets of the parties – we will address this in a future article.
The four step process thereafter is to determine:
- What are the assets and liabilities of the parties (known as the asset pool);
- What were the contributions of the parties (before, during and after);
- What are the ongoing and future needs of the parties;
- Is the outcome then just and equitable in all of the circumstances?
Our next article will outline the first step in the four step process, namely what are the assets and liabilities of the parties.