Divide relationship property

You will need to divide your relationship property when you separate or divorce.

There are 3 ways to divide your relationship property:

  • You can agree between yourselves how to share your property and the court doesn’t have to be involved. If you want to be able to enforce the agreement through the court, your agreement must be in writing and both of you must have had independent legal advice.
  • If you can't agree or if you believe your arrangement is unfair or doesn't work, the Family Court can identify the relationship property, review property valuations you provide and determine an agreed value and how it will be divided between you and your ex-partner. The court will put this in a Relationship Property Order.
  • If you are undertaking Family Dispute Resolution mediation to help you agree on how you'll care for your children, you can talk about how you will divide relationship property, if it helps you agree on your plan for your children. Write down what you have agreed and make sure you both get independent legal advice.

The information in this section is mainly for people who can’t agree and are going through the Family Court.

Relationships covered by law

The Family Court can make orders dividing relationship property when you’re married or in a civil union or in some cases a de facto relationship.

Find out more about relationships that are covered by law

What relationship property covers

Relationship property covers things of financial value that you gained during the relationship. It can include:

  • the family home and contents (but not taonga or heirlooms), other land or buildings and vehicles
  • salary or wages earned during the relationship, insurance payouts, superannuation you received, rents and other income from joint property
  • any property gained when you were in the relationship or had the relationship in mind and intended for both of you to use
  • non-personal debts (your personal debts are your own responsibility)
  • gifts or inheritances that have become mixed with relationship property
  • property you both agree is relationship property
  • increases in the value of relationship property, income from it or the proceeds from the sale of it.

Find out more about the difference between relationship property and separate property(external link)

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