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Homemaking and breadwinning equal “skills” in the Family Court

By June 7, 2016No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

A Family Court judgment has been overturned after appellate judges found the trial judge had made a mistake in placing more weight on the husband’s career and financial contributions than his wife’s home-making contributions.

The Australian newspaper reports that a retrial has been granted to a Sydney couple who saw their marital asset pool divided 60/40 in favour of the businessman husband.  The millionaire husband had been assessed as having generated most of the couple’s wealth due to his “skill”.  The husband had received around $10million from the sale of his business in 2008, though when the court came to dividing the couple’s assets, the net pool had dwindled to around $4million.

The Australian reports that:

The trial judge said the net pool of property was “derived almost entirely from the fruits of the (husband’s) business venture” and the wife’s contributions could not “match this significant contribution”.

The appeal judges unanimously rejected that approach, finding the wife’s contributions should not have been judged inferior simply because they were in a “different sphere”.

The appeal judges declared,

“What skill or skills a person brings to a relationship which are said to result in the making of money or accumulation of capital is no more or less relevant than the skill set a person brings to a relationship as a homemaker and parent, or as the performer of two roles as a homemaker and parent and income-earner.”

“It is not a party’s skill set which must be considered, but their contributions. Contributions are the product of many things: talent, industry, selflessness and, indeed, luck, to name a few.”

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Do you need help with a property settlement or other family law matter? Please contact Cristina Huesch here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 for assistance.


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