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What goes into a family law asset pool?

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When your marriage or de facto relationship ends, you’ll need to sort out how to divide your belongings and debts.

The first thing to do is identify all the things that make up the asset pool.

What’s up for consideration?

All the assets and liabilities of both parties are considered and are known as the ‘property pool’. Essentially, it includes all property of both parties.

It’s important to understand, that just because something is included in the property pool, doesn’t mean that a court will give a share of it to the other party. It must however be disclosed and included.

Assets and liabilities

The ‘property pool’ is made up of assets and liabilities.

Assets, or things you own, typically include things such as-

  • A family home

  • Cars, boats, caravans

  • Household furniture and goods

  • Bank accounts

Assets can also include things that are under your (or your ex’s) control. Things such as-

  • A business

  • Superannuation

  • Assets held under a family trust

  • Money owed to one of the parties

Liabilities, or things that you owe, include things like-

  • Mortgages or other loans

  • Credit card debt

  • A tax debt

Some more unusual assets and liabilities might include

  • Gifts and inheritances

  • Compensation payouts

  • A redundancy payment

  • The increase in value of a property that one party brought into the relationship

  • Lottery winnings

When was the asset was bought?

The assets might include-

  • Property that you each brought into the relationship
     

  • Property bought during the relationship
     

  • Property acquired after separation

Does it matter whose name the property is in?

No it doesn’t!

Property of a relationship includes property that is in your name, property in your former partner’s name and property in both your names.

It does not matter if all the property is only in one person’s name because the title to property can be changed from one partner to the other to make sure that the property is divided fairly.

Property can also include a share in an asset that a party owns with someone else.

Just because all these assets are included, doesn’t mean they will all be treated the same way. There are many different factors used to determine what each party is entitled to in a property settlement.

What next?

Do you need help working out what to do next? We understand the process of separation can be confusing. Our Separation Guide is simple to understand and will take you through things step by step.

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