Consider the contributions of each of the parties
Next the Court would consider the contributions each party has made towards the property between them [see s 79(4)(a)-(c) for married relationships and s 90SM(4)(a)-(c) for de facto relationships].
The contributions up for consideration are not only those made during the relationship, but also those made at the very beginning of the relationship and those made after the relationship came to an end.
Contributions towards the acquisition, conservation or improvement of the property between the parties may be both direct or indirect and financial or non-financial.
Financial contributions may include:
- property owned at the very beginning of the relationship
- property received by gift or inheritance
- money put towards a purchase price, loan or mortgage, such as wages or other income
An indirect financial contribution towards the property may include money spent on household goods, groceries and utilities so that the other party could put money towards the purchase price, loan or mortgage.
Non-financial contributions may include:
- work done on the property such as renovating or building
- efforts put into building up and running a business
An indirect non-financial contribution towards the property may include acting in the capacity of homemaker or parent to allow the other party to go out and earn money.
Both indirect contributions mentioned above may also, and therefore rather, be considered as contributions towards the welfare of the family. Contributions towards the welfare of the family include those made in the capacity of homemaker or parent. A homemaker or parent can be entitled to a share of the property even though they have not earned any income or directly contributed any money towards the property during the relationship. In many instances, the contributions of the homemaker or parent are considered equal to direct financial contributions made by the income earner. This may not be the case where the direct financial contributions of the other party were large and/or the relationship was short.
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