In Australia, a 70/30 divorce settlement refers to a specific arrangement made between divorcing spouses regarding the division of their marital assets and liabilities. When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the key aspects that needs to be addressed is the fair distribution of their shared property, finances, and debts. The 70/30 settlement is one of the potential outcomes that can occur during this process.
In general, divorce settlements in Australia aim to achieve a fair and equitable division of assets, taking into consideration various factors such as the financial contributions made by each spouse, their future needs, and the overall circumstances of the case. The division of assets can be agreed upon through negotiations between the parties involved, or it can be determined by a court if they cannot reach a mutual agreement.
The 70/30 divorce settlement specifically refers to a situation where one spouse receives 70% of the marital assets, while the other spouse receives the remaining 30%. This division is not a rigid formula or a mandatory requirement, but rather a possible outcome that can be reached depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the factors considered by the court.
The Family Law Act of 1975 governs divorce settlements in Australia, and it emphasises the principle of a “just and equitable” division of assets. The family court takes into account various factors when determining the division, including:
These actions have an impact on the accumulation of assets and liabilities within the property pool or the overall well-being of the family. These actions encompass both financial and non-financial contributions, which can be either direct or indirect.
The Family Court takes into account the contributions made by each party at various stages beginning, during, and after the relationship. However, the Court may determine that the overall contributions were equal, particularly in lengthy relationships. Financial and non-financial contributions are not given preferential treatment and are often balanced equally.
Furthermore, the Court assesses the extent to which the parties agreed upon the contributions made during the relationship. Even if these contributions were imbalanced, the Court may consider that they were mutually agreed upon without any coercion or pressure.
This is an aspect that is not commonly grasped when discussing “70/30 property settlements” or “50/50 split property settlements.” Simply because one party earned more and shouldered a greater portion of the expenses does not automatically entitle them to a corresponding mathematical share of the property. It is not a straightforward exchange on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
There are several tasks that can be seen as non-financial contributions, all of which are connected to the acquisition process in some way. Although these tasks may not offer an immediate monetary reward, they often enhance, uphold, preserve, or enhance the value of the asset.
Engaging in various services or tasks within the marital home, such as erecting a fence, painting, paving, constructing a pergola, gardening, and landscaping, all fall under the category of non-financial contributions. If these tasks were not undertaken by the individuals themselves, a professional tradesperson might have been required to carry them out. By investing their labour and making renovations, they have saved both money and time while also increasing the property’s value.
When assessing the contributions made by each party in a relationship, considerations are given to contributions that enhance the well-being of the family in terms of parenting and homemaking. The court recognises the significance of the homemaker’s contributions alongside the financial contributions made by the income earner. Examples of such contributions to the care and welfare of the family include activities like taking children to school, sports, and extracurricular activities.
The party responsible for managing the household, caring for the children, maintaining and improving the marital home, enables the other party to focus on earning a wage that can be used to reduce the mortgage. The homemaker indirectly contributes to the family home in a non-financial manner. For instance, a wife who stays at home and takes care of the children allows her husband to work full-time and earn a consistent income, thereby making an equal and relevant contribution to the marriage.
The factors known as “future needs,” often referred to as “section 75(2)” factors, are taken into account to assess each party’s ability to sustain themselves in the future. These factors encompass:
The Court has the authority to make adjustments to the entitlements based on these factors, deviating from a strict assessment solely based on contributions.
For instance, if one party is expected to assume primary care for young children following the separation and has a lower capacity to earn income, the Court may grant them a favourable adjustment considering these circumstances.
Therefore, a 50/50 split in a divorce is not presumed and only occurs in rare circumstances. This is primarily due to the likelihood of disparate contributions made by both parties, both in terms of finances and non-financial aspects, throughout the relationship.
Based on the aforementioned factors, you and your former partner may be assigned a different division of property, such as a 60/40 or a 70/30 divorce settlement.
A 60/40 split in a divorce is more commonly observed and is considered an average distribution from the asset pool in many divorcing couples cases. On the other hand, a 70/30 split is more frequent among those seeking a speedy resolution to their divorce and property settlement. This division may also occur when one partner has significantly contributed more to the relationship and will assume greater responsibilities for children or property post-divorce.
If you believe that you may be at a disadvantage in the settlement, you should seek legal representation to ensure that you receive a fair share of the marital property.
Accordingly, the 70/30 division is just one possible outcome among many that can arise during divorce settlements in Australia. Each case is unique, and the division of assets is ultimately determined by the court’s assessment of what is fair and equitable based on the individual circumstances.
To navigate financial settlement after divorce and ensure a fair outcome, it is recommended to seek legal advice from top family lawyers Sydney who specialises in family law and divorce proceedings. At Lyons Law Group, we can provide personalised guidance based on the specific details of your situation and assist you in understanding your rights, apply for a divorce and entitlements under Australian law.