The Full Court of the Family Court recently dealt with a case that involved a property pool that included land owned by the husband that had soared in value over the course of a 28 year relationship where the parties had raised three adult children. When the husband purchased the land from his father in 1975, it was worth $26,000. At the time of trial this year, it was worth $10,000,000.
The primary Judge determined that the husband should receive 66% of the assets and the wife 34% of the assets, notwithstanding that the parties agreed that all other contributions were equal.
The Full Court accepted an earlier decision that said:
“The justice and equity of the case may derive from the fact that the party who owns the family home or other property was able to retain that property while the market value increased because of joint efforts of wages, earning, homemaking and parenting, and mutual support.”
The Full Court of the Family Court recognised that the initial contribution must be assessed against the entire extent of contributions which include financial and non-financial during the course of the marriage.
The wife won this appeal and the Court changed the outcome to 53% to the husband and 47% to the wife, confirming that where there is an increase in value of an asset unrelated to the efforts of the parties, a weighing of all of the contributions of the parties must be considered.
Property settlements are not easy. They require expert analysis and advice.
Tiyce & Lawyers, we are here when you need us.