Understanding financial settlements
Preparing for settlement
As you prepare for your financial settlement, remember:
- You can nominate any debt or equity accrued during separation to be included in the financial settlement.
- Any financial claims for spousal maintenance or financial assistance need to be made promptly in the event of a separation.
- Allowances can be made for any special needs or circumstances for all individuals (adults and children).
- The earning capacity and ability to earn for each adult could be considered.
- The financial contribution made by each person during the marriage (yes, being a stay-at-home-parent is a contribution) could be considered.
- Superannuation, shares and cryptocurrencies are also included in the financial settlement. Note that superannuation is likely to be a super-to-super transfer and not accessed as cash.
Each party (or person) will be asked to share up to 7 years (or more in some cases) of their financial records and accounts, including (but not limited to) bank statements, credit card statements, shares, loans and mortgages, as well as trusts, cryptocurrency balances and valuations on significant assets.
It is essential that you have ‘full and frank disclosure’ when disseminating financial documents and making financial claims. Failing to tell the truth, share all assets or offer accurate and realistic figures may result in significant repercussions.
Mediation and financial conciliation conferences are a great place to start the financial settlement discussions and offer up-to-date Proof of Balance documents for each account. However, it is important that you seek professional legal advice for your individual circumstances and have a strong understanding of your current financial position.