The Family Law Act 1975 requires the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to adopt the following process to decide how assets of a de facto relationship or a marriage should be divided:
Firstly, what is the pool of assets and its value is and the legal or equitable ownership of that property.
Secondly, whether it is “just and equitable” to make Orders changing the ownership of that pool of assets and in doing so the Family Law Courts must take into account:
The contributions each party have made to the assets and the marriage generally; and
The Family Law Courts have a wide discretion to make Orders which they consider to be “just and equitable”.
The Court can also consider whether financial support should be paid to a party to a marriage or de facto relationship in circumstances where they are unable to adequately support themselves. A party can be ordered to pay Spousal Maintenance on an interim and/or final basis.