The first step in property division (AFTER meeting the threshold we discussed in the last article) is determining the asset pool of the parties.
An agreement will need to be reached between the parties in relation to the value of all assets and liabilities of the parties (whether held solely, jointly or in the name of any company or trust with which a party has an interest).
Assets can include real estate, bank accounts, shares, interest in a business or partnership, control of trust assets, vehicles, jewellery, household furniture and superannuation entitlements. If the value of an asset is in dispute then a proper valuation will need to be obtained usually at the joint cost of the parties.
Liabilities can include mortgages, credit card debts, tax liabilities or personal loans.
It is imperative you disclose ALL of your assets and liabilities. Failure to provide full disclosure can result in severe penalties against you, and affect the binding nature of the agreement.
What happens if you don’t know what the assets are? We will address this in a future article on seeking discovery.
Our next article will address step 2 which is identifying the contributions of the parties.