Legal effects of separation on proprietary and financial relationships between the spouses
As a matter of fact, separation necessitates dealing with a wide spectrum of proprietary and financial issues that stem from and are related to marriage. Specifically speaking, it is usually incumbent on the spouses to handle division of their property (assets) and debts. Australian law prescribes various means by which spouses can accomplish such division. First and foremost, spouses, to the same extent as de facto partners, are entitled to come to an agreement on how the property should be divided without having any recourse to court. Second, if the spouses arrived at a mutually acceptable conclusion, they can formalise their arrangement by filing an application for a consent order in the Family Court. Third, as an alternative, if the spouses are unable to reach a consensual arrangement, they may apply to a court for a financial order, such as the order pertaining to the division of property and payment of spouses or de facto partner maintenance.
Under Australian law, both the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court are authorised to render orders in relation to financial matters following the breakdown of eligible de facto relationships. In like manner, the aforesaid courts have jurisdiction to make similar orders in cases where the parties are married, not separated. Previously, financial disputes between former de facto partners were usually decided by state and territory courts via the application of the law of the respective state or territory. Talking about superannuation, the superannuation splitting law recognises superannuation as a different group of property. This law allows separating spouses to value their superannuation and split superannuation payments, though such procedure is not mandatory.