The Four Steps Of Calculation

What Do You Need From Your Property Settlement?

When we try to calculate a property settlement, we go through four steps.

The Property Pool: what assets and liabilities are there?

The Contributions: how did you each contribute to these?

The Future Needs: what are each of your financial needs moving forward?

A Just and Equitable Split: what, if any, split is needed?

The first two are relatively objective. I say relatively, because there are plenty of exceptions, but generally speaking we can readily work out what ‘stuff’ is in the property pool, and how each person contributed to that (financially or non-financially).

Jessica Purcell (JP Family Law & Mediation)

The last two steps, however, are a little more ambiguous. And this month, I am looking at ‘future needs’.

What is a future need? And how do you prove it?

Firstly, we are talking property and finances here. So that’s a good place to start.

Future needs, although they may not look financial, are very much about money – and your ability or otherwise to earn it.

Do you have primary care of the kids? How old are they? How do they limit your ability to work?

Are you caring for someone else, like an elderly parent? Does that mean you can’t work?

Do you have an illness or disability that limits your ability to work and earn income? Will this get worse as you get older?

Are you unemployed with no qualifications? Do you need to completely re-skill?

The longer you have been with your former partner, the more important these things become – often because they have played a role in creating the situation i.e. you stayed home with the kids so they could work.

We then need to ‘guess-timate’ how much this reduces your future earning capacity, and how much extra you might be entitled to from the property pool to compensate.

If you are unsure about what you are entitled to, contact us to talk further.

By Jessica Purcell (JP Family Law & Mediation) – 0466 090 434