Once the Court has established the percentages of the net property pool that each party is entitled they will then consider whether both those percentages attributed to each party is in fact just and equitable. More importantly they will consider whether the actual assets being distributed between the parties is just and equitable.
For example, Superannuation cannot in most cases be used by a party until they reach the age of 65. If one party was to receive as their division of property, all superannuation and nothing else, that party would have no financial means to fall back on his or her feet and as such the Court would likely not consider this division to be just and equitable.
The Courts are rarely agreeable to one party receiving 100% of the property pool and will reject or readjust a division of property that seeks to do so regardless of whether the parties agree to the division or not.
The mechanics of dividing up the property pool
Once the 4 step process has been evaluated and the percentages attributed to the division of property it must then be considered how the property will be divided to effect the division of property.
Remember that the percentage attributed to each party is that which each party is entitled to of the net assets.
At this time you need to decide which assets and liabilities you wish to retain and which assets you do not. Once this has been decided and if agreed to by the other party usually a cash adjustment will be made to one party so as to achieve the division of property.
For example, say the property pool is the following:
NET Total sought to be retained by Party 1 is $360,000
As party 1 is only entitled to $210,000 party 1 would need to give a cash adjustment to party 2 in the amount of $150,000 to retain those assets.
When considering which assets you wish to retain from a property settlement you also need to consider the financial reality of those decisions. For example you may wish to retain the house and mortgage but if you do not have an income you will likely not to be able to afford to or the bank may refuse credit.
In the event that neither party wishes to retain the property then orders can be made for the property to be sold and the proceeds to be divided.
Superannuation can, in most cases be divided between the parties and in turn and superannuation can be rolled over into a different superannuation fund if required. Again there are some funds that cannot be transferred and you should enquire with your lawyer for clarification on this point.