Before reading about property mediation, please read about how family mediation can assist you.
How can we fairly divide our property?
In working out property matters through mediation it is important to consider that you must both be able to afford to live and move on with your lives. Being able to come to a mediated agreement on your property division helps to lessen the conflict and will help you get on with the task of parenting without the over burden of financial uncertainty.
How does the process work?
- Intake interview
- Identify the property pool
- Formalising the agreement
Do I need a Lawyer?
Property agreements are not always about the here and now. You may need to consider future living needs, child support, earning capacity and living expenditure for both yourself and the other party.
It is strongly advised that you each obtain independent legal advice in relation to your property matters. You may also wish to engage a financial planner or accountant to advise you. Sometimes, if you have either guessed your financial position, or not given full disclosure of assets and liabilities to the Lawyers, they can give you unrealistic expectations of your entitlements.
As difficult as these conversations are, it’s important that you provide full and frank disclosure to the best of your knowledge.
Do I need to change my will?
In most cases separating couples will change their will in order to reflect their new financial circumstances. It’s important to note that your separation or divorce does not revoke your existing will so it’s best to get onto this sooner rather than later.
What is classed as property?
“Property” is a broad term which includes assets (things you own) and liabilities (things you owe). Depending on your individual circumstances, this may include business and personal property and the future living needs of each of you.
Personal assets can include (but not limited to)
- Money in the bank or held in trust
- Household effects
- Share Portfolios
- Investment Property
- Any other property you own
Liabilities can include (but not limited to)
- House Mortgage
- Vehicle loans
- Credit card debts
- Personal loans (including to family)
- Any other item you owe money on
Business assets can include (but not limited to)
- Tools of trade
- Self managed super funds
Business liabilities can include (but not limited to)
- Any other debts
Future living considerations may include the following (but not limited to)
- Income capacity
- Education / Qualifications
- Contributions of each party
- Spousal maintenance
- Housing for each parent to accommodate the children’s needs
- Child support arrangements
- Other expenses relating to children
- Other considerations
What if we can’t agree?
Property matters can be extremely difficult and are frequently emotionally charged. Your mediator is trained to assist you through this process, however, as with all mediation, having realistic expectations and a willingness to fully participate in the process will assist you both. However if you can’t agree, or if your matter is considered not suitable for mediation, you are able to proceed to court and the court will make the decisions for you.
Prior to your appointment
- Seek legal advice
- Consult a financial adviser or accountant
- Consider if you need a support person to attend the mediation
- Make suitable childcare arrangements so you can be free to focus.
Please bring with you
- Bank and taxable income statements
- Superannuation statements
- Any mortgage or property deeds
- Current vehicle valuations
- Business valuations
- Any other relevant paperwork.
More information can be found on the Family Court of Australia website