When arriving at property settlement orders, the court undertakes a four-step process. Step 1: The court will determine the assets and liabilities of the parties. This includes superannuation entitlements as well as assets held personally, jointly or in trusts, businesses or companies. Step 2: The court will determine the contributions each party has made to the acquisition, preservation, improvement or maintenance of any asset. Financial as well as non-financial contributions, as well as contributions as a parent and homemaker, are considered. Step 3: The court will consider the future needs of each party, matters such as who has the care and control of children as well as the respective earning capacities of the parties. Step 4: The court will consider whether the orders and settlement it proposes to make are/is just and equitable.
Once the court has completed this four-step process, the marital pool of assets will be divided between the parties in the proportion the court considers just and equitable in the circumstances of the case.