What is a 70/30 divorce settlement? 

What is a 70/30 divorce settlement? 

By cropped Clara Suki

· Read time: 4 minutes

A 70/30 divorce settlement is less common than a proportion of 60/40, which is the approximate average split for most divorcing couples.

It is normal to not have thought about a divorce settlement during the happy years of your marriage. However, once a relationship breakdown occurs, you may realise that the commonly held assumption of a perfect 50/50 property split may not apply to your circumstances. This article aims to give you a concise overview of how exactly courts can determine property settlements. 

The aim of property settlements 

As you may know, the aim of a property settlement is to have a ‘just and equitable’ split in all the circumstances of the case. This will mean that the court will consider: 

  1. Establishing the asset pool of both parties 

This involves determining what property is owned by both parties and what is valued. Things that constitute property include financial assets such as any wages, houses, cash, cryptocurrency, and will also include any loans and debts. 

  1. Any contributions to the relationship

Both financial contributions and non-financial contributions will be taken into account. Non-financial contributions refer to unpaid work, which may include domestic duties, caring for children, and maintaining property. 

  1. The future needs of both parties

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This involves taking into account the future earning capacity of both individuals, their age, and any other relationship responsibilities. This will be especially relevant if one party earns much more than another. Future needs will also be especially relevant if one party takes a larger responsibility for caring for children or property. 

  1. A just and equitable split 

After taking into account these considerations, the court will ensure that the property settlement is just and equitable in all the circumstances of the case. It is important to note here that there is no presumption of a perfect 50/50 split. 

What about other proportion splits in divorce settlements? 

Thus, as we know that there is no presumption for a 50/50 equal split in a divorce, they only occur in very limited circumstances. This is because it is very unlikely that both parties have contributed equally to the relationship, both financially and non-financially. Read our article here about a 50:50 property settlement.

Depending on the four factors discussed above, you and your ex partner may instead be given a different breakdown of property, such as a 60/40 or a 70/30 divorce settlement. 

A 60/40 divorce split is more common than a 70/30 split, and is approximately the average split that most divorcing couples face. A 70/30 split is more common for those in a hurry to finalise their divorce and property settlement. It can also be because one partner contributed much more to the relationship and will be taking more responsibility for any children or property after the divorce. 

In cases where you feel as if you may be disadvantaged, it may be best to gain legal representation to ensure that you are getting your fair share of property from the marriage.  

Divorce settlement percentages 

A 2001 research study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the average share of property given to the husband after divorce was 45%. Furthermore, it was stated that 42% of respondents reported that the wife in the divorce had received 60% or more of the property and financial resources owned at separation in the property settlement. 

From this data, we can deduce that if you are a working husband in a traditional family structure, you are most likely going to get less than 50% of the property and financial assets. Generally, in most circumstances, a wife in a traditional family structure will receive a slightly greater portion of the property and financial assets. Although as we’ve noted, a 70/30 divorce settlement proportion is possible but an outlier.

The research report also found that there were a wide possible range of outcomes for property settlement cases because of the current discretionary system in place. Discretion is important in this system as it ensures that the resulting property settlement is just and equitable for both parties. It helps to acknowledge that everyone’s family is different and that different circumstances should be catered for. 

If you need a family lawyer to assist with a property settlement or any aspect of Australian family law, then feel free to reach us via the contact form. 

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