10 Minute Separation Split.

Part 2: Assessing Financial & Non-Financial Contributions

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Part 2: Assessing Financial & Non-Financial Contributions.

It's fair to say that what you put into a relationship is more than just financial contributions. 

You've got the cooking, the cleaning, the washing, fixing the light bulbs, and even mowing your lawn every second weekend.

These tasks help build, acquire, and maintain assets that now need to be split. So, they can be just as important as financial contributions.

Only question is, how do you put a monetary value on a task like mowing the lawn or doing the dishes?

Well, in this video, part two of how to determine your share of the property pool, I'm going to take you through all of the financial and non-financial contributions, as well as the homemaker contributions that can be seen as having a monetary value.

Even if it didn't directly take money out of your pocket. 

After that, we are going to figure out what your total contribution has been.

Before we begin, I recommend you download the "Part Two: Assess Financial and Non-financial Contributions" worksheet, so we can work through the steps together. You can download this from the link below:

Once you've got that, let's get into it.

Stage 1 - Financial Contributions

What are financial contributions?

Financial contributions are contributions made directly or indirectly by you or your former spouse to the acquisition, conservation, or improvement of any property that either of you may own or have previously owned during the relationship.

For example:

  • Yours or their income;
  • Savings or other money brought into the relationship;
  • Payments on a deposit;
  • Loan repayments;
  • Other payments of expenses such as renovations, water, gas, electricity, car servicing;

Or anything else that maintained or improved an asset or property you or your former spouse owned, like a house, car, or a business.

These financial contributions can also include any work or other financial contributions someone else makes on your behalf.

For example, if you received an inheritance or a personal injury payment.

NOTE:  It's important to note, you need to include the contributions made before cohabitation, so that is before you lived together, during cohabitation or marriage, whether or not you were married yet or de facto, and after your separation.

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Step One.

List all of the financial contributions that you or your former spouse made to the relationship BEFORE you lived together.

If you take a look at the example below you'll see an example of some financial contributions a wife and husband made before cohabitation.


So, that is what you had when you started living together.


In this example, the husband contributed $35,000 in savings, as well as having a $50,000 payment on a house ready to go. The wife on the other hand just contributed the $15,000 in savings she had at the time.


So go to section 1  of your worksheet. Here you will find table 1a (the first red table) which will be the same table as the example above.

Here you will need to list any financial contributions you or your former spouse made before living together. 

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Step Two.

List all of the financial contributions that you or your former spouse made DURING the relationship (when married or living together).

Now we are going to look at the contributions during the relationship. 

So, if you look at the example below the financial contributions during the relationship were:

  • mortgage repayments & gas, electricity and water bills for the 8 years they were together;
  • the $8,000 they spent each to renovate the kitchen;
  • the husband also received an inheritance of $100,000 from his parents; and 
  • the wife received $70,000 from a personal injury payment.

So go to section 1  of your worksheet. Here you will find table 1b (the second red table) which will be the same table as the example above.

Here you will need to list any financial contributions you or your former spouse made during the relationship while married or living together. 

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Step Three.

List all of the financial contributions that you or your former spouse made AFTER separating.

Next, we are going to look at all the financial contributions made after you separated. 

That may continue to be mortgage repayments, or electricity, or gas because someone needs to keep paying the expenses on that property.

So, those, in this example below are the financial contributions after separation. 

So, now, have a go at filling in yours and your former spouse's financial contributions after separation in section 1 table 1c of the worksheet (the third red table)

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Step Four.

Total all of the financial contributions that you or your former spouse made.

Finally, we are going to total both yours and your former spouse's financial contributions.

To do this we are going to add up all of your financial contributions that you made before living together, during marriage/ cohabitation and after separation.  So you can see in the example below this is noting down all your financial contributions and adding these all up.  

And then doing the same for your former spouse's column. 

So, now, go ahead and filing in and add up your own orange table - total table 1 in section 1 of the worksheet.

And that's it for financial contributions. 

Don't have the time to do it yourself?

Let us work out what you may be entitled to instead.

Stage 2 - Non-Financial Contributions

What are non-financial contributions?

They are similar to financial contributions in the sense that they're made directly or indirectly by you or your former spouse to the acquisition, conservation, or improvement of any of the property of the parties.

BUT, they are NOT made with money or payment.

For example:

  • Home improvements such as renovations or labor to a property that you've done yourself that's added value to that property;
  • You've helped manage your spouse's business; or
  • You've managed the finances of the relationship.

In non-financial contributions we don't take into account the non-financial contributions pre-living together. We just look at the non-financial contributions made during and after the relationship. 

NOTE:  Do not at this stage include things like washing, cleaning, cooking, or general yard maintenance. People often get these confused. Those are homemaker contributions that we are going to deal with next. But for this stage, leave those things out. 

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Step One.

List all of the non-financial contributions that you or your former spouse made DURING the relationship while you were married or living together.

In the example below you can see that the husband made majority of the non-financial contributions during the relationship taking on the tasks of home improvements such as painting the inside and outside of the house. He also undertook the management of finances for the couple personally and for the business they owned together.  

So go ahead and fill in your non-financial contributions you and your spouse made while married or living together. Fill this in in table 2a of section 2 of your worksheet (the first red table of section 2).

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Step Two.

List all of the non-financial contributions that you or your former spouse made AFTER separating.

The main non-financial contribution we see after separating is home improvement. 

For example, you might separate and decide that the property has to be sold. One party might do some improvements to the property, like painting the property, to add value to it to get it ready for sale. Therefore this is a non-financial contribution that occurred after separating that needs to be considered.

Consider both your and your former spouses non-financial contributions post-separation and then note these down in table 2b (the second red table of section two of the worksheet).

After you have completed both steps then you can move on to stage 3. 

Stage 3 - Homemaker Contributions

What are homemaker contributions?‚Äč

These are contributions made by a party to the welfare of the family, including in your capacity as homemaker or parent.

For example:

  • caring for the children is the obvious one;
  • cooking meals;
  • cleaning;
  • mowing the lawn;
  • driving the children to and from school or their co-curricular activities.
1

Step One.

List all of the homemaker contributions that you or your former spouse made DURING the relationship while you were married or living together.

Again, this doesn't have that pre-relationship step, because there really can't be homemaker contributions before the relationship.

In the table below we have listed some examples of homemaker contributions that may have happened during the relationship.

We've got things like home maintenance, cooking, cleaning, washing. Here in table 3a of section 3 of the worksheet you will need to list both yours and your former spouse's homemaker contributions. With each contribution you will need to assign a percentage of who did what. Don't be too particular with these percentages, you will most likely know who did the majority of the cooking and who mainly looked after the children. For example, don't assign 3% for the few times you cleaned the house while your partner did the cleaning majority of the time. 

NOTE: Looking after the children tends to be the biggest contributions we look at in terms of homemaker contributions. Looking after the children can be a massive contribution to the relationship especially in cases where you have had several children or your child had health issues. In cases such as these there can be more running around to different activities and there can be more doctors' appointments, specialist appointments. So, pay particular attention to noting this down.

The common example we see is where the husband's earned the money. He's gone out and worked all of the relationship. The wife has stayed home to raise the kids. In this situation, if mum had not raised the kids, dad wouldn't have been able to go out and earn the income that he did. 

So go ahead and fill in table 3a of the worksheet (the first red table of section 3).

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Step Two.

List all of the homemaker contributions that you or your former spouse made AFTER separating.

Next we are going to do the same for the homemaker contributions made after separation.

They tend to be similar to the homemaker contributions made during the relationship as seen in the example below.

Obviously, even after you separate, the kids need to be cared for, and taken to school, and taken to co-curricular activities. The property still needs to be cleaned, cooking, washing, all those sorts of things. These tasks carry on even after separation. 

So have a go at filling in yours and your former spouse's homemaker contributions after separation in table 3b of the worksheet (the second red table of section 3).

Consider both your and your former spouses non-financial contributions post-separation and then note these down in table 2b (the second red table of section two of the worksheet).

Stage 4 - Assess The Contributions

In this final stage we are going to briefly assess the contributions.

In terms of the weight given to each of these types of contributions, they do depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The size of the property pool. 

So, you'll remember in a previous video we worked out the value of the property pool - that will be relevant to the weight of contributions;

  • The length of the relationship.

In shorter relationships, financial contributions tend to be given more weight than in long relationships. In long relationships, not much weight is given to higher earnings, where there was a merging of efforts. For example, when dad went out and earned the money and mum stayed home and raised the kids.

  • Large lump sums such as inheritances or personal injury payments received later in the relationship.

These are given more weight than if they were received early on in the relationship.

We will go over this weighting in more depth in Part Four when we calculate a rough figure on what you may be entitled to. 

In the meantime, you can move on to Part Three, Determining Your Future Needs, because you have completed all four stages of Part Two.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this video or your separation, feel free to contact us on 1300 767 384 or you can email us at [email protected]

Don't have the time to do it yourself?

Let us work out what you may be entitled to instead.