The information provided below is general in nature and should not be relied upon legal advice. You should call 03 5445 1000 and speak to a lawyer at OFRM about your particular circumstances.

Assessing Future Needs in Family Law

A while ago on this blog I promised to shed some more light on the 3rd stage of what a court does in considering what is the right division of assets in a family law properly settlement. (see What Percentage Will I Get?)

Us boring family lawyers call that stage the "future needs" or "section 75(2) factors". Having evaluated how each party contributed to the property, the court then turns to this stage.

The family law act stipulates a list of factors to be taken into account at this stage which includes:

  • The age of each party
  • Their state of health
  • The party's income, property and financial resources
  • The party's ability to be employed
  • Whether the party has the care of a child
  • The commitments of the party necessary to support themselves and a child
  • The need to protect the role of being a parent
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The financial circumstances of a person the party is now living with

In addition, the act provides the court can take into consideration "any fact or circumstance which in the opinion of the court the justice of the court requires to be taken into account"

This last provision gives the court pretty wide discretion to take various circumstances into account and adjust he percentage split for them.

So it is the factors like this that mean that even if your contributions were equal during the marriage, one party may receive more of the pool as a "loading" for their future needs.