“Crime” and “Punishment” in Family Law property settlements

People sometimes complain, occasionally with good reason, about questionable behaviour by their partner during the relationship.

Things like abuse of alcohol, drugs, gambling, squandering of money, or being abusive to them or their children.

Can a spouse be “punished” for their behaviour and receive a smaller share of the property at settlement?

With the exception of serious instances of domestic violence and abuse, questionable behaviour will not impact upon the share of property a spouse is otherwise entitled to receive. For example:-

  1. If you were better at managing family finances throughout the relationship while your partner was a spender, there will be no ramifications for them in property settlement unless you can prove serious instances of wastage.
  2. If your partner was abusive to you during the relationship their behaviour will not affect the outcome of the property settlement unless, of course, serious domestic violence has been shown.
  3. If your partner has had an affair during the relationship, there will be no punishment for that in property settlement.
  4. If your partner left you and initiated the separation, they will not receive a lesser share of the property at settlement just for that reason.

Every person’s story is different however, and you may have some exceptional circumstances that may affect your property settlement for you or your partner.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your entitlements on a family law property settlement, contact Julia Ejelovitch from Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699 to discuss your concerns today.