WA Divorce - Financial and Property Settlement not 50/50

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Colin Aston

8 November 2014
My partner has just got a divorce and is currently in a financial settlement battle. Her ex received some workers compensation in 2002, value of 250k. Her solicitor told her that she would receive less than 50/50 property settlement, even though she contributed 150k proceeds of house sale on marriage in 1995. Why does one contribution count, and the other one not?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Colin,

Generally, the court would consider all contributions. Therefore, the court will most likely consider the workplace contribution of 250K and the contribution toward the house of 150K (if they were in a relationship at that time).

There are many threads on this forum that talk about financial settlements post divorce/separation. All of them are quite vague since financial settlements are very much dependant on the individual facts and a combination of factors. The general rule is that everything is able to be considered (e.g. joint accounts, individual assets, any contributions toward anything, gifts received under will or otherwise). What won't be considered are assets held on trust for third persons.

Have a look at this LawAnswers Family Law Forum thread in particular: "Separation - how much is fair to split with ex".

If her solicitor is saying something different, she should ask her solicitor to explain to her why that is.
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Dear Colin,

A major component of a worker's compensation payout is a monetary sum to compensate the worker for their permanent loss of earning capacity - i.e. the effect the injury has had on their ability to provide for themselves in the future. Its not a 'contribution to the relationship' per se like some sort of bonus or windfall. The purpose of the payout is to enable an injured worker to (as far as possible) maintain the same income as he or she would have but for their accident. Your partner's ex has to live with the lost earning capacity for the rest of his or her life, not just the marriage. It would be contrary to the intention of the provision if the payout was then apportioned out to someone else with full earning capacity. Think about the purpose of it, that should explain the difference.