If you and your partner could not come to an agreement about how to split your properties equally, you may be in the situation where you may need legal advice. In the last part of the Property Settlements with No Agreements series, I discussed how parties can identify their asset pool and determine what they could be receiving from the separation. During this part of the series, I will be discussing how each party can contribute to the property, adjustments for future needs, and justifiable and equitable agreements.
Contributions of Each Party
Contributions, whether financial or non-financial, are relevant when it determines the property included in the relationship. Different parties can provide different amounts of assets and currency and the law acknowledges that fact. Assets that were owned prior to the relationship become less relevant as the relationship continues. For example, if a couple has been in a relationship for more than 10 years, it can be irrelevant whether or not they entered into the relationship with certain assets.
One of the main factors that is considered is the amount of income each party makes and how it has been used when looking after the family. Though, in most cases, contributions made to physically raise children and contribute to household duties are deemed relevant as well. The length of the relationship, as well as the presence of children, can all determine how the assets will be weighed out.
Future Needs Adjustments
Something else that can make a significant impact on the division of assets is the earning capacity, age, health, presence of children, primary caregiver, and the ability to generate income. The ability to generate income will be considered more highly if a partner has given up opportunities to develop their skills and careers due to the relationship.
These adjustments are carefully determined and evaluated. The partner with less opportunity due to any of the listed reasons above will likely be entitled an adjustment that favors them. It is difficult to determine these future needs factors and legal representation can aide in figuring out the lengths that can be taken for each party.
Justifiable and Equitable
The Court will weigh in if the agreement is just and equitable after reviewing the circumstances of the particular situation. Every situation is different and will be awarded in what the Court views as the fairest distribution of assets.
**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.