New Husband Wants Half of Everything - Where Do I Stand?

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15 June 2014
I've divorced and received a small payout ......then I met my new husband. I put all my money from the property settlement + my fathers inheritance (around $80k) into the deposit for our new house and we've been married for 18 months now. He's turned emotionally abusive and I need to get out but he won't leave as he wants half of everything now. If we sell up I wouldn't even get my deposit back. Do I have any rights under family law to claim back the money I had prior to the marriage?


Hi Danielle,

I have found some information on the Family Law Courts Website ( which I have pasted below. My understanding is that how the assets of the marriage will be divided based on a variety of different variables like how each of you has contributed, your future needs, etc. If your relationship breaks down and you do not have a prenup, it is probably a good idea that you go and talk to a lawyer to get the best possible settlement.

How does a court decide?
The Family Law Act 1975 sets out the general principles the court considers when deciding financial disputes after the breakdown of a marriage (see Sections 79(4) and 75(2)) or a de facto relationship (see Sections 90SM(4) and 90SF(3)). The general principles are the same, regardless of whether the parties were in a marriage or a de facto relationship, and are based on:
    • working out what you've got and what you owe, that is your assets and debts and what they are worth
    • looking at the direct financial contributions by each party to the marriage or de facto relationship such as wage and salary earnings
    • looking at indirect financial contributions by each party such as gifts and inheritances from families
    • looking at the non-financial contributions to the marriage or de facto relationship such as caring for children and homemaking, and
    • future requirements – a court will take into account things like age, health, financial resources, care of children and ability to earn.
It is important to realise that the way your assets and debts will be shared between you will depend on the individual circumstances of your family. Your settlement will probably be different from others you may have heard about.

A court's discretion (judgment)
There is no formula used to divide your property. No one can tell you exactly what orders a judicial officer will make. The decision is made after all the evidence is heard and the judicial officer decides what is just and equitable based on the unique facts of your case.


Well-Known Member
8 April 2014
G'day Danielle,
Have a look at my LawAnswers Family Law Forum post in "Separation - Who Gets What? House donated by Father in Law". It may well be the case that you will receive more if you have contributed more, if your partner has been abusive and if you are likely to require more in the future due to your needs and earning capacity. But unless you mutually agree on the split and get it made legally enforceable, then the family court would decide if you can agree.


15 June 2014
Thank you for your replies. Doesn't look very promising as he will just wear me down until he gets what he wants.