VIC Separation and Assets

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15 August 2014
I separated from my partner almost 2 years ago (separation). The only asset I took was the car, now valued at $8000 and the kids (custody of children). It's registered in my name. Can he legally do anything about this (property settlement) under family law as we have not yet filed for divorce?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi kmarto79,

Even if the car is solely in your name, it may still be counted towards your pool of shared properties/assets. This is because money used to purchase or maintain the car may have come from shared assets or from shared efforts. In short, if you and your partner satisfy a "de facto relationship" or are married and now separated, your partner may have an interest in that car.

A property settlement will consider:

- How long the partnership was;
- When the car was purchased and with what money;
- Other properties/assets in the shared pool and how they are currently being divided;
- Contributions by each partner to the shared pool during the partnership (and before); and
- Future financial needs of each partner (including any children cared for from the partnership).

The essential question is what is considered a fair division of assets having considered all of the above.

Generally, de facto partners have 2 years from the date of separation to work out a property settlement. If you and your partner already agreed on the division of assets, I would suggest having this written down on paper and signed by both parties. You may also apply to the Family Court of Victoria for a consent order, which will turn the written agreement into an order with the same legal effect as a judgment.