Money and property
Learn about how separating couples can divide money and property fairly.
Dividing your money and property when you separate
The way a couple divides their money and property after separating will depend on their individual circumstances.
To divide things fairly you should take into account assets and debts, the contributions each person has made, and each person’s future needs. It’s important to remember the contributions of both the homemaker and the income earner.
If a couple can’t reach an agreement on how to divide their money and property then they can go to court. The court has wide powers to help you to get a fair and equitable division.
Important: The Family Court has time limits for applying for money and property orders.
- If you are divorced: the time limit is 1 year from when you finalised your divorce.
- If you were in a de facto relationship: the time limit is 2 years from when your relationship broke down.
Each person’s superannuation makes up part of the money and property pool that needs to be considered when separating. However, superannuation is treated differently from other types of money and property. If each person keeps their own superannuation, the process is simple. However if you need to split superannuation special rules apply about how this should be done.
The way that amica deals with superannuation is that it takes your balances into account when suggesting a division of money and property but each of you keeps their own superannuation.
amica is not suitable if you want to split superannuation with your former partner.
The Australian Taxation Office has information on keeping track of your superannuation. This can be helpful if you have had more than one superannuation account.
Pets are considered a type of property when you are separating from your partner.
Child support is different from dividing your money and property when you separate. Child support is the ongoing financial support for children paid by parents after separating.
The costs of raising children should be shared between parents based on their individual incomes and the parenting arrangements for the children.
You cannot use amica to claim child support.
You can find legal help about child support from the free Legal Help Line in your state or territory.
Spousal maintenance is different from dividing money or property. But the way that separating couples divide their money and property can affect the payment of spousal maintenance.
Spousal maintenance includes de facto maintenance.
You cannot use amica to get spousal maintenance.
You find legal help about spousal maintenance from the free Legal Help Line in your state or territory.
Separation and wills
If you have money or property that you want to leave to someone else when you die it is important to make a will.
Does separating affect my will?
If your children normally live with you, you can say in your will who you would like to care for them after your death. The most important thing to consider is the best interests of the child. You can find legal help about your obligations to provide for your children in your will and about how separating can affect your will from the free Legal Help Line in your state or territory.