Avoid These 7 Common Errors During Property Settlement in an Australian Divorce

Avoid These 7 Common Errors During Property Settlement in an Australian Divorce

August 21, 2023 Off By Glespynorson

Navigating a divorce can be a trying period – often involving the search for new living arrangements, determining co-parenting strategies if children are involved, and undoubtedly, the division of marital assets.

The intricate facet of asset division, commonly referred to as property settlement, emerges as one of the most intricate aspects of getting a divorce in Australia. Property settlement, encompassing the legal procedure of distributing assets and liabilities between spouses in a divorce, is a nuanced process prone to misconceptions.

Throughout the property settlement procedure, errors can frequently arise, potentially yielding enduring repercussions. To aid in sidestepping these commonplace property settlement blunders, insights about seven of these missteps have been compiled.

Mistake #1: Overlooking Asset Valuation

A pivotal facet of property settlement hinges on comprehending the valuation of assets. Under the Family Law Act 1975 in Australia, the inclusion of all assets, spanning real estate, investments, superannuation, personal belongings, and even inheritances (unless alternative arrangements like binding financial agreements are in place), is mandated in property settlements. Neglecting to ascertain precise asset values can lead to an inequitable resolution. To avert this pitfall, enlisting the services of a professional appraiser or financial expert is advised for valuing assets.

In certain instances, discrepancies may arise between parties concerning asset values. In such scenarios, the court might stipulate an autonomous valuation or consider evidence presented by both parties to determine the worth. It’s crucial to acknowledge that any costs associated with asset valuation will factor into the settlement determination.

Mistake #2: Omitting Full Asset Disclosure

Neglecting to divulge all assets can trigger severe legal and financial ramifications. In Australia, it’s obligatory for involved parties to furnish comprehensive and candid information about all assets and liabilities during the property settlement process. Failure to disclose an asset may lead to the invalidation of the property settlement agreement by the court, coupled with potential penalties like covering the opposing party’s legal expenses and offering compensation. This omission can result in an imbalanced settlement, disadvantaging the other party. Regrettably, it’s not uncommon for individuals to seek ways to conceal assets amidst divorce proceedings.

Maintaining transparency regarding all assets and liabilities is paramount, including those not directly in your name. For instance, a party’s stake in a family trust or company, along with any inheritances received, must be disclosed. To circumvent this oversight, it’s prudent to collaborate with a family lawyer, ensuring that a comprehensive asset disclosure is accurately managed.

Mistake #3: Allowing Emotions to Dictate Choices

Acknowledging that divorce is an emotionally charged journey is no revelation. Within this context, emotions often wield considerable influence, particularly in taxing aspects like property settlement. Decisions steered by emotions can potentially result in an inequitable settlement.

To sidestep this pitfall, it’s prudent to allocate time for processing emotions before embarking on decision-making. Enlisting the guidance of a therapist or counselor could be beneficial. Prioritizing judicious decisions that encompass all pertinent facets, including the needs of both parties and any children in the equation, is crucial.

Mistake #4: Accepting an Unjust Settlement

Prioritizing a fair and balanced property settlement that duly considers all assets and liabilities is paramount. In Australia, property settlement operates under the principle of being “just and equitable,” signifying that the settlement should be both reasonable and fair within the given circumstances. Yielding to an unjust settlement due to pressure or a desire for swift divorce resolution can lead to enduring repercussions. To evade this pitfall, it is advisable to engage a financial expert or family lawyer to ensure an equitable settlement.

First Meeting with Divorce Lawyer | Dick Byl Law Corporation

When establishing the settlement terms, it’s crucial to factor in:

The financial contributions of each party, encompass income, assets, and liabilities.

Non-financial contributions, like child care or household upkeep.

Future requirements such as ongoing financial support or housing.

The marital standard of living.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Tax Implications

Tax consequences can exert considerable influence on property settlements. It is essential to account for any tax implications while negotiating the settlement. For instance, property transfers might attract capital gains tax or stamp duty. Acquiring a grasp of these tax implications and enlisting the assistance of financial experts or accountants if necessary is advisable.

Mistake #6: Disregarding Future Expenses

Incorporating future expenditures into property settlement negotiations is vital. For instance, the custodial party might face ongoing costs linked to child care, or relocating parties might incur substantial moving expenses. Factoring in prospective expenditures ensures that both parties are appropriately accommodated in the settlement agreement.

Mistake #7: Overlooking Professional Assistance

Navigating property settlement, a multifaceted legal process, can be notably eased with professional intervention, such as engaging a family lawyer. These professionals safeguard your rights, assure fairness in the settlement, provide legal guidance, assist in negotiations, and ensure procedural integrity. Additionally, financial experts or accountants can furnish valuable insights concerning asset valuation and tax implications.


Although divorce is challenging, circumventing common property settlement missteps can contribute to a just and balanced outcome. Recognizing asset values, comprehensive asset disclosure, rational decision-making, and a methodical approach are key. If you’re undergoing an Australian divorce and require assistance with property settlement, refer to this resource to connect with a family lawyer who will safeguard your rights and advocate for the optimal outcome.