When will a court make property orders?

The Family Law Act requires a court to consider if the proposed orders sought by the parties are just and equitable in making decisions for married couples and de facto couples (couples who have never married and satisfy the checklists for what is determined to constitute a de facto relationship).

The Full Court decision of Horrigan & Jennings [2018] FAMCAFC206 determined the following:

  • In order for a judge to determine if it is just and equitable to alter property interests between the parties the Court is not required to consider the financial, non financial and homemaker contributions of the parties
  • In this particular case the parties had entered into an informal property settlement in 2011. The Court confirmed that, as the parties believed they could deal with the property in accordance with this agreement from this time on, it was not appropriate for the Court years later to interfere with this arrangement.  The Court declined to upset the arrangement and refused the application by one party to vary the property agreement.
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