Is a 70/30 Divorce Settlement Common in Australia? Understanding Property Division in Queensland

You may have heard about the concept of a "70/30 divorce settlement," where one party receives a significantly larger share of the assets. While this scenario may make for sensational headlines in American reality tv shows, it's not as common in Australia as you might think. In fact, such imbalanced settlements are relatively rare Down Under. Let's explore how property settlements are typically divided in Australia, particularly in Queensland, and understand what each party is entitled to in a divorce.

How Are Assets Divided in Australia?

In Australia, divorce and associated property settlements are governed by the Family Law Act 1975. Assets and liabilities in a divorce can be divided in several ways, either through mutual agreement or a court decision:

Informal Agreements: Couples can make informal agreements, but these are not legally binding until formalised. Turning an informal agreement into a legally binding document is essential to ensure its enforceability.

Binding Financial Agreements: These detailed financial agreements, including prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, can be used to divide assets. Couples can create them during or before their marriage, as well as post-separation through separation or divorce agreements.

Consent Orders: If both parties agree, they can apply to the court for consent orders, which must be just and equitable.

Court Proceedings: When disputes arise, couples can initiate court proceedings under the Family Law Act for a property settlement. The court follows a four-step process to divide assets, ensuring that it's just and equitable for both parties.

What is The Four-Step Process?

Identifying the Property Pool: This involves determining all the assets, debts, and financial resources that belong to both parties (this includes things like homes, cars - even boats, pets, loans and superannuation).

Evaluating Each Party's Contributions: This step involves assessing the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party to the property pool. Non-financial contributions can include caring for children, maintaining the home, or other non-monetary efforts.

Considering Future Earnings and Needs: The court also considers factors that may affect each party's ability to earn income and their future circumstances. This can include their age, health, and any caregiving responsibilities.

Seeking a Fair and Equitable Outcome: Ultimately, the court aims to achieve a fair and equitable division of assets based on the factors mentioned above, as well as any other relevant considerations. The goal is to ensure that the final settlement is just for both parties involved.

Is a 70/30 Divorce Settlement Common in Australia?

The likelihood of a 70/30 divorce settlement in Australia, particularly favouring one party heavily, is quite low, especially in cases involving a long-term relationship. Courts in Australia generally aim for a just and equitable distribution of assets. However, such a division might occur if one partner brought significant property into the relationship at the beginning.

While such imbalanced splits like a 70/30 divorce settlement in Australia are largely uncommon, they may occur when ex-partners reach agreements independently, often under stressful or emotional circumstances. These situations may include domestic violence, extreme emotional distress, or situations where one party hastily agrees to the arrangement.

Have More Questions Regarding 70/30 Divorce Settlements in Australia or Other Family Law Issues?

At Pullos Lawyers, we understand that divorce can be a challenging and emotional process. While 70/30 divorce settlements are rare in Australia, you may be entitled to more in a property settlement than you realise, considering contributions that can't be measured in dollars. Our experienced family law practitioners can guide you through the property settlement process. We can also help you determine if you're eligible for spousal maintenance and provide support during your emotional journey.

We invite you to contact Pullos Lawyers today to ensure you make informed decisions during this challenging time. Our expertise in family law can help you navigate the complexities of property settlements in Queensland, as well as a number of family law issues including child support and Wills and Estate planning.