Peth Family Law Finishing the Financial Relationship

Separating couples can agree on how their finances are shared at the breakdown of a relationship or marriage in Perth Family Law by following this five-step process.  An agreement can be documented in a Form 11 Application for Consent Orders. Final orders can be made to finish the financial relationship between each of you. 

The Five Step Process in Perth Family Law

In determining what you are each entitled to a five-step process is usually followed.

Step 1: Determine whether it is just and equitable to alter the property interests of the parties at all

The Court considers whether it is just and equitable to make an order or Orders altering property interests.

Step 2: Identify the assets and liabilities of the parties, that is identify and value the net assets of the parties

This step is to identify and agree on the values of the assets and liabilities of the parties. Both parties make full and frank disclosure to determine the true size of the asset pool. If you and the other party are unable to agree on the value of any or all of the assets to be divided between each of you, it may be necessary to obtain valuations.

Step 3: Assess the parties’ contributions, that is consider the financial contributions, the non-financial contributions and the contributions to the welfare of the family

The contributions of the parties need to be assessed. The court considers what financial contributions, non-financial contributions and contributions to the welfare of the family have been made 

If an asset is owned by a party before the commencement of the marriage, especially if a marriage is not long, that party should retain a significant credit for bringing the asset to the marriage.

The significance of an initial financial contribution will gradually reduce over the period of the marriage so as the period of cohabitation lengthens there is a corresponding diminution in the significance of the initial contribution.

This applies also to additional contributions during the marriage such as inheritances received by a party. The more recent the contribution the more significance it will usually be given, thereby ordinarily resulting in a greater benefit to the party who made it.

Step 4: Assess the parties’ future means and needs, that is each party will have different future needs depending on a wide range of factors

After the property of the parties has been identified and the contributions of each party have been assessed, the next step is usually to consider the effect of the initial division of property on contributions only and the future needs of each party.

The Court must consider factors including, but not limited to, the following:

Age and state of health of each of the parties;

Income, property and financial resources of each of the parties and the physical and mental capacity of each of them for appropriate gainful employment;

Whether either party has the care or control of a child of the marriage who has not attained the age of 18 years;

Commitments of each of the parties that are necessary to enable the party to support himself or herself and a child or another person that the party has a duty to maintain;

The responsibilities of either party to support any other person;

Eligibility of any party to obtain superannuation or a pension;

A standard of living that in all the circumstances is reasonable;

The duration of the marriage and the extent to which it has affected the earning capacity of either party; and

Any other factor or circumstance, which, in the opinion of the Court, the justice of the case requires to be taken into account.

Having considered the future needs of the parties to the proceedings, the Court in its discretion may take the view that it is appropriate the percentages arrived at on contributions should only be adjusted to appropriately address the future needs of each party.

Step 5: Determine what is “just and equitable”, that is the Court will consider whether the Orders proposed are just and equitable in all the circumstances of the case

This step involves the Court considering whether the proposed division and the Orders to be made in light of the circumstances of the case are just and equitable. In other words, is the outcome fair? The Court will likely consider this even when agreement is reached.

Prior to your first appointment, you may send us an email or similar, outlining your situation including what you want to tell us in your first appointment. This information will be read on a complimentary basis prior to your first family law appointment. We know your family law matter before we meet. For more ideas on what to put in your complimentary pre-read simply refer to our website at

Please note this is not family law advice. It is important to seek family law advice specific to your circumstances. We are a small, boutique Perth family law firm that has been established for over 20 years. You will receive personalised attention from our Legal Practitioner Director supported by our carefully selected and trained and very experienced Perth family law paralegal and support staff. Shannon has been practising in family law including in complex financial matters for over 25 years having graduated with Honours in Family Law.

Email our Legal Practitioner Director, Shannon Bodeker at, for your complimentary pre-read and first appointment at a reduced rate.

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