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 have children, you can use Family Dispute Resolution mediation to talk about dividing relationship property but only if it helps you agree about how you’ll care for your children. Write down what you’ve agreed. Make sure both of you have had independent legal advice.
  • The Family Court can become involved if you can’t agree or if your agreement is unfair or doesn’t work. The court will identify the relationship property, value it and decide how it will be divided between you and your ex-partner. The court will put this in a Relationship Property Order.

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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