A family law property settlement generally happens in three distinct steps. The first of which is valuing your property.
In other words, determining the net value of all property. This is irrespective of whether property is held legally by yourself, by your former partner or by both of you jointly. Property includes real estate, cash, investments, furniture, motor vehicles, interests in a company, trust or partnership and superannuation.
A value must be determined for each item of property and initially we encourage our clients to seek their former partner’s agreement to a value. In the event there is no agreement, both of you can agree to the appointment of a joint expert to value the relevant item of property. At the conclusion of this step, you will be in a position to identify all property and the net value of your property pool.
Often the smaller items of property like the furniture and household goods held by each of you that can cause problems with agreeing a valuation. Sometimes people will claim that the furniture in the other party’s hands is worth tens of thousands of dollars. This may be because they have valued the property at a “replacement” or insured value as opposed to a second hand value. For the purposes of negotiations it is important that all furniture and chattels be taken at their current sale value or second hand value. This is often much lower than the replacement value.
In order to value a superannuation interest there is a process to be adopted under the relevant regulations. We are able to assist you in this regard.
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The information contained herein is not intended to be a complete statement of the law on any subject and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice in specific fact situations.