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    Family Law: Financial Resources in a Family Law Property Settlement

    29/09/16 9:56 AM

    Over the last month, we have discussed a number of different financial considerations which you may not have considered in relation to your family law property settlement. Now, we have one more topic to discuss which will hopefully round out your understanding as to how all these financial puzzle pieces fit together!

    One of the problems which often arises in a family law property settlement is determining how these different financial considerations will be represented in the legal documents being drafted by your lawyers. One way to categorise financial considerations such as windfalls, inheritances, trusts and new partners is as a financial resource.

    What is a financial resource?

    A financial resource is exactly what it sounds like; an item or a person on which/whom you can draw financial and monetary resources. Financial resources are not strictly an asset that can be included on the balance sheet of the relationship such as house or a car.

    Why are financial resources included on the balance sheet?

    As previously mentioned, financial resources are not assets in the traditional sense and therefore are not part of the property pool which is up for grabs. Instead, financial resources point to your future needs or lack thereof.

    Consider the following situation: A couple splits up, unable to continue living in a relationship with each other. Three months later, one party marries a multi-billionaire with properties scattered around the world. Now, the recently married party cannot list their new spouse as an asset: after all, they do not own the person! However, to discount the impact of these new circumstances altogether would not fairly reflect the non-married party’s comparatively greater need. Listing financial resources is one way to ensure that the eventual property split between parties is just and equitable.

    The take-home point:

    Any financial interest, resource or asset you have is relevant to family law. However, not all your interests, resources and assets are up for grabs in family law. This is a key distinction which is often misinterpreted.

    This month, we have explored the breadth and depth of financial considerations which can be taken into account in a family law property settlement. When undergoing a settlement, you must disclose everything to ensure that an accurate and complete picture of the parties’ respective financial positions can be developed. However, there are a number of ways that these financial considerations are recognised in family law which may not result in the financial resource being included in the property pool.

    If you have a family law matter, concerns about your finances in light of a family law property settlement questions about family law and separation in NSW and want to find out more please do not hesitate to contact us on 9688 6023 or email us at

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     This article is provided to the reader for general information. It is not legal advice. It was written by Andrea Spencer & Emily Graham and edited by James Frank.

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    Finance, business and family law, family law property settlement, money and family law, family law property settlement in NSW