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Valuing Property in Family Law matters

Property Ssettlement

You may have just separated from your partner or have been separated for some time. A division of property remains to be resolved between you.

If you are legally married, then you have a period up to 12 months after your Divorce Order becomes final within which to finalise a property settlement. If you were in a de facto relationship, you have a period of two years from the date of separation to file a court application to determine your property interests.

The first step in the process is to identify and value property (including superannuation) and liabilities.

Where the parties agree on a value of the property

 The simplest way to value property is by agreement.

Bank accounts can be identified by relevant bank statements. Agreement as to the value of superannuation can be determined by reference to an up to date statement. Alternatively, the superannuation fund can be asked to value a spouse’s interest in superannuation by a superannuation information request which can be sent to the superannuation company by the non-member spouse without the member being informed.

A registered valuer is able to value any asset about which agreement cannot be reached after having regard to appraisals or online valuations such as which is often used for motor vehicles.

It is preferable that each of the spouses, through their lawyers, jointly instruct one valuer to carry out valuations so as to minimise a dispute between experts.

It is important to understand that in determining the value of tools and furniture, it is not the price which you have paid for the article, but rather a price which the article might attract at a garage sale or auction.

It is important to remember that the value including property and liabilities is to be taken at its current value when dividing the property and not the value at the date of separation.

If you need advice on your entitlement on a division of property or if you need to seek permission to file an application in the court out of the usual time limits, South Geldard Lawyers can assist.

It is important to seek specific advice regarding your circumstances as this fact sheet provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.