Divorce And Separation In Australia – How Does Property Settlement Work?

In Australia, the property shared by you and your former partner is known as ‘matrimonial property’. During a divorce, it can be tricky to know exactly how much you will receive from your divorce property settlement. Whilst, it may sound complicated, at Reid Family Lawyers we have simplified the property settlement process so that you can understand exactly how it works.

How are assets split up in a divorce?

Contrary to popular belief, during a divorce there is no 50/50 rule when it comes to splitting assets, as the division of assets is determined on a case-by-case basis. So, what are these assets? Property can range from joint or independently owned property, cars, or business interests. Generally, there are three ways to formalise a division of your matrimonial assets after a separation: financial agreements, consent orders or if you are not able to resolve your dispute by either of these methods, a division as determined by a judge.

How is a property settlement achieved?

A property settlement, also known as the agreement between two parties to divide assets, liabilities, and financial resources after separation, can be formalised by way of a financial agreement or Consent Orders.

Independent financial agreements: According to the Family Law Act 1975, a financial agreement is a written document that outlines how property is to be divided. It can be prepared before, during or after the end of a relationship and it states how financial resources will be split, following separation. Under the Family Law Act 1975, regardless of whether you are married, de facto or in a same-sex relationship, anyone in Australia can make a binding financial agreement. These Agreements are complicated documents.  Both parties need to obtain independent legal advice and your lawyers must attach a certificate to the Agreement confirming that the advice has been given.  At Reid Family lawyers, we can help you prepare a financial agreement and will go through each of the steps required in preparing the written document. 

Consent orders: A consent order is also a written agreement however it is approved by the courts. It typically occurs when both parties have agreed on parenting, financial or property arrangements.

A financial agreement and Consent Orders are both legally binding but there is more protection from Consent Orders.

Court-ordered property settlement: A court-ordered settlement occurs when the two parties are unable to reach an agreement. As a result, they can apply to have the court decide on how property will be split between the two parties. Some of the key factors considered by the courts are:

  • The financial and non-financial contributions of both parties
  • Your current assets and debts
  • Future requirements needed by both parties such as health or caring costs for children of the relationship, and the ability to earn money in the future

How much will I receive from my property settlement?

There is no pre-determined formula for property settlement. Each decision made by the court is done on a case-by-case basis. So, this means that you can’t expect assets to be divided equally between the two parties. If you think that you might be getting the short end of the stick in a property agreement, seek legal advice immediately.

Need Legal Advice For Your Property Settlement? Contact Reid Family Lawyers

With no one-size-fits-all solution, the property settlement process is dependent on a range of different factors. Whilst it may seem complicated, contacting a family lawyer can help to simplify the process. Contact Reid Family Lawyers to get your property settlement agreement underway.

Your Simple Guide To Child Support In Australia

What is child support?

Child support refers to the financial support provided by one parent to another parent, to help with the costs of caring for a child of your relationship after you separate. Child support is provided by way of regular periodic payments but occasionally it can also include a lump sum payment.  Parents may enter into a private child support agreement to cover the costs of private schooling, medical expenses, extra-curricular activities and so on. The child support regime was introduced by the Child Support (Assessment Act) and aims to ensure that children receive an adequate level of financial support from their parents. Here at Reid Family lawyers, we recognise that it can be difficult to navigate the child support system in Australia, so we have simplified the process for you.

What is child support for?

According to the Child Support (Assessment Act), child support is available to ensure that the persons who provide ongoing daily care for the child have a level of financial support appropriate to meet a child’s needs.. The primary aims of child support are:

  • To ensure that both parents are financially responsible for their children
  • To ensure that the financial support is adequate for a child’s needs;
  • To ensure that child support payments are regular and timely;
  • To ensure that parents provide financial support that is appropriate with their financial situation.

Who is eligible for child support?

All children in Australia are eligible for child support if their parents are separated. Generally, child support payments are provided to a child until they reach 18 years of age or can financially support themselves. However, there are exemptions such as if your child is 18 but still studying at school. If you are a parent, to be eligible for child support, the following criteria must be met:

  • You and the other parent must prove that you are the legal parents of the child. Some presumptions apply.  If you were married or in a de facto relationship at the time your child was conceived, there is a presumption that you are the child’s parents. The same presumption applies if your name appears as a child’s parent on their birth certificate.
  • Normally both parents must be residing in Australia (but there are exceptions);
  • The child must not be married or be in a de facto relationship.

How is child support calculated?

In Australia, there is an 8-step formula for calculating child support. Some of the key considerations for child support include:

  • Both parents’ income;
  • The number of nights the child spends with each parent;
  • Whether either parent is responsible/pays child support for other children;
  • The age of the child for whom child support is being paid.

Want Professional Advice On Child support? Contact Reid Family Lawyers To Find Out More

If you’re thinking about the legalities of entering into a child support agreement, then we can support you at Reid Family lawyers. We specialise in providing family law advice that can help you achieve the outcome that is best suited for you. We understand that each case is different, so we provide tailored advice that targets your specific parenting needs and situation. Contact us today, to get in touch with one of our expert family lawyers.

Denying Access To A Child in Australia – Is it Allowed?

Navigating post-separation parenting can be a difficult and stressful time. This is because oftentimes during a separation or divorce, it is common for one parent to try to restrict contact between the child and the other parent. Whilst each circumstance is assessed on a case-by-case basis, the law is very clear that children have a right to have a relationship with both their parents.  On that basis, unless there is some risk factor for your children in spending time with their other parent, time with them should be promoted. At Reid Family Lawyers we are committed to providing you with the best possible advice so that you can know all your rights and obligations as a parent. This article will inform you of when it is appropriate to restrict contact between a parent and a child and when it is not.

Situations in which access to a child cannot be denied

Due to the high tensions when it comes to separation and divorce, oftentimes a parent will try to restrict access to another parent, thinking that it is in the best interest of the child. As a general rule, a parent should not restrict access to a child if

  • The parent has refused to pay child support
  • There are aspects of the other parent’s parenting style which don’t align with yours
  • The parent does not adhere to a child custody agreement such as by not visiting their child enough

What are the exceptional circumstances?

There are situations in which a parent may be restricted from contacting or spending time with their child. These circumstances usually apply when there is some risk to the child.  For example:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse which impact that parent’s capacity to care for the child;
  • Serious mental health issues in a parent which may compromise parenting capacity;
  • Family violence
  • A risk to the child of being exposed to abuse or neglect.

What can I do if I am being denied access?

If you are the parent that is being denied access to your child, it is important to seek legal advice.  Your lawyer will help you to access mediation services in the hope that time can be reinstated.   In these situations it is crucial that you are aware of any pitfalls in order to avoid further risking your chances at gaining access to your child. This includes avoiding behaviours such as threatening your former partner or snatching your child.

Supervised contact

Depending on the situation, a parent may be granted supervised visitation rather than being denied complete access to their child. There are professional supervision services to assist families in this situation.  Sometimes it may be appropriate for some other person to supervise your time with your children including:

  • A relative such as a grandparent or aunt/uncle;
  • A close friend or new partner.

Seeking Legal Advice? Contact Reid Family Lawyers


Here at Reid Family Lawyers, we’ll make the separation process as easy as possible so that you can get the best possible outcome. With years of professional experience, we are committed to supporting individuals through difficult times. Contact us on +61 2 9091 0220 if you want expert, rational advice on how to navigate uncertain parental arrangements, the end of a relationship or a divorce. We also offer free 10-minute consultations with a senior lawyer so that you figure out which legal service best works for your needs and situation.