Increasingly separating couples are finding that settling property & financial matters post separation by using the process of Mediation is a cost effective & time saving solution to the alternative of a drawn out court process that may or may not deliver an outcome that both parties accept.
A settlement through mediation will be within an acceptable legal range and will take into account your legal advice. In addition, settlement through mediation will also enable you to discuss your financial circumstances in detail and consider a range of options to enable you both to arrive at a mutually agreed settlement that you consider 'just and equitable'.
This settlement is based on your discussions, clarification and mutual understanding of your asset / liability contributions and accumulation before, during and after the relationship (eg. Inheritance, jewellery, gifts, family loans, compensation payments etc.) and on your individual future needs (eg. Age, health, income / earning capacity, care of children and others, standards of living etc.). This allows you both to move forward with your lives with certainty and finality.
"Early advice and professional assistance prior to mediation from a family lawyer may be important to address particular issues to achieve a fairer distribution of assets."
It is a requirement that there is a full and frank disclosure of all assets and liabilities of both parties. The property pool will generally include all assets/liabilities at the date of settlement of each of the parties or companies & trust under their control & ownership, regardless of when they were acquired. Since the amendments to the Family Law Act in 2002 it is now possible to split or divide superannuation in the same way as other assets. There is a preferred approach to the determination of an application brought pursuant to the provisions of s79. That approach involves four interrelated steps.
Identify & value the assets, liabilities & financial resources.
Assess the contributions
Consider the future needs
Divide the property in a way that is 'just & equitable'
In calculating a property settlement there is a presumption under Family Law that all assets / liabilities of the relationship are joint, unless it can be shown that there was no direct or indirect contribution and the asset or liability was never used for family purposes. Property and financial settlement is not based on whose decision it was to end the relationship or their reasons for doing so. CMS Mediators understand that the division of assets following a marriage / relationship breakdown is sometimes a difficult and sensitive process. Our role is to facilitate your being able to make good business and financial decisions during this sometimes emotional time. CMS Mediators are specifically trained and experienced in resolving property and financial settlements post separation.
"Your Family Lawyer is welcome to attend the mediation to assist with your property settlement, if you require this. CMS Mediators are experienced in working collaboratively with Family Lawyers in mediating property and financial matters."
The mediation process for a property settlement will follow the process as outlined here (The Mediation Process) and will incorporate the Family Law Act's 4 step process below.