Video Transcript:

Welcome to Video 3 of Module 5: Divorce and the Assets. My name is Leanne Abela. I'm a Director and Partner of Pearsons and if this is the first video you've seen in the series, I strongly recommend you go back to the start, so that you'll fully understand how it is that we got to this point and what the relevant factors are.

You can look at any one of our videos on either our Pearsons YouTube Channel or on our Pearsons webpage. Now, if you've already seen all of the videos leading up to this point, you're ready to begin.

In this particular video, we are going to look at the relevant factors that are taken into account in deciding your percentage split, or, that is, the slice of the cake you're going to receive. From a technical point of view, there are two sections of the Act that are relevant and I'm going to mention them to you, just in case you've heard them before or you come across them in the future. So, the first is Section 79-4 of the Family Law Act.

What does that mean? Section 79-4 relates to the contributions which are relevant, when you're thinking about how the assets should be divided.

So, what are the relevant contributions or what does the law look at? General overview of this section, because, of course, every case is different and every fact situation is different and you need to be aware of that and that is where your lawyer can give you assistance in weighing up how valuable that contribution is.

But, from a general point of view, the items that are looked at are these: your prior contributions, that is, before you entered your relationship, that is, living with your partner, or sharing finances. What did each of you have? Did one of you have a house? Did one of you have savings? Did one of you have superannuation? Assets prior to the relationship.

The next category would be special contributions during the relationship. Now, what can this consist of? The unusual lump sums that have come into the relationship, that are not as a result of the income that either of you earned.

So, regardless of income, was there an initial contribution, or special contribution, during the course of the relationship, as a result of an inheritance, a compensation claim, sometimes a redundancy, a gift or loan of money from family or friends, a windfall or an interest-free loan, or something of that character?

It's important that you know the amount and the date it was provided and what happened to it. Was it spent on a trip overseas? Has it been whittled away or has it been spent on day-to-day living expenses or on a mortgage or reduction of debt or renovation or the purchase of a property? Or is it quarantined and in a separate bank account? These are the things you need to know and they will affect the percentage split.

The second factor determining the division of the assets is section 75-2 of the Family Law Act, or what's referred to as needs.

What are those needs that affect this percentage split that each of you will receive? Well, again, there's a range of factors. They're covered under the Family Law Act and the weight that each one is given will really depend on your particular case. There are, however, some general principles which apply.

For example, needs are affected by who the children live with, how old are those children, do they have disabilities, do you or your partner have disabilities that will affect your ability to work in the future, is there an income earning disparity, does one of you earn much more than the other and what is that disparity.

That's also relevant to the percentage split. Has one of you carried out any wastage during the relationship? That is, excessive gambling, excessive drinking, drug abuse, where the funds have gone out, which should have been retrieved during the course of the relationship.

Other special needs that are taken into account: there are needs in relation to people that you have to support, other than your own children, your ability to recover after a separation, the size of the pool. The smaller the cake is that you're dividing, the more cake you're going to receive if you have a lower income earning ability, dependent children or disability.

The larger the cake, the more likely it is that there's enough for each of you to be quite full and to be satisfied with the percentage split, to re-house and move forward. Therefore, the percentage disparity between you in that split is likely to become closer and not as extreme.

The maintenance that's been paid is a relevant factor. Are you going to be receiving child support, if you've got the children or are you unlikely to receive child support? So, will you have the complete financial responsibility of raising these children?

Other expenses, such as private school fees, etc. are the topic of another video in this series and so I strongly recommend you follow this series until you get to that point. So, these are some of the general and most common factors that are taken into account when you're looking at how the percentage split should occur.

If you're now ready to move on to the next video in the series, we're going to cover some of the most commonly asked questions in property matters. So, if you're ready to move on, please go to Video 4, on Module 5, that is in Divorce and Assets. Bye for now!

All our videos in this Youtube series can be found through the Pearsons Youtube Channel at or by visiting the Pearsons website at and following the links.

Alternatively, if you know that its simply time to see a Family Lawyer, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Please be advised that we must complete a conflict check so that we can only represent one party in a Family Law matter. So if your partner is watching this same Youtube series and engages our services before you do, we advise that we may not be able to talk to you. Whatever it is that you choose, it is our wish that throughout this Youtube series, you can finally gain a sense of certainty so that you 'know where you stand'.


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