Can She Take Half of My Assets?

  • I have been with my girlfriend for 2 years and we are both in out late twenties.
  • She does not currently have any savings or assets as she is a poor student but she contributes financially where she can and is actively looking for work.
  • We currently live together and pay rent
  • I am currently working full time and own my house(which is solely in my name) which is currently being tenanted out, but we would like to move into it together within the next 6 months
  • There is a small mortgage on the house but majority of it has been paid off by myself - through scrimping, saving and hard work
  • We do plan on getting married and having children eventually down the track
  • She is a beautiful humble woman and not some gold digging money lover

What are the implications if we were to break up our relationship or things didn't work out down the track?

Can she potentially take half of the house even if we aren't married?

The reason I ask is because I have worked hard for everything and although I trust her and love her, I've heard horror stories of guys losing the lot because of bad relationships and poor financial/legal advice. Even as per the last point, people can change over time and I don't want to get screwed over. I wouldn't bother asking but she is not bringing anything to the table, financially speaking, so I guess I need some re-assurance.

Comments

  • +4

    I'm not sure if people claiming assets are split 50% have ever consulted a lawyer.

    The last time I spoke with a lawyer the law had been changed with respect to shared assets.

    It used to be that the house was split 50/50 with a priority of tenancy going to the wife\mother due to child raising duties.
    It's a silly law that assumed everyone has kids and women don't work, thankfully it was updated.

    The advice I received was that
    - only assets acquired since the beginning of the relationship may be split
    - if you paid 75% of the house off before the relationship started, the partner has no claim to that 75% in the case of a split
    - of the remaining 25% the court will look at who contributed financially and who contributed socially
    - someone who 'makes a home' is entitled to a 50/50 split of the shared assets, if your partner does not do 'a clear majority' of the housework then it's purely a financial contribution decision
    - if you each have your own car, the partner is not entitled to any of yours
    - shared items like TV, fridge, washing machine are generally considered 50/50 if the items were purchased after the relationship began
    - if you bought the TV and other house appliances before the relationship started, it's all yours

    Thankfully Australia doesn't have alimony laws so you aren't required to pay to maintain someone else's lifestyle after a split.

    Also remember that if someone is living in your house, you may want them to mark payments as board and not rent.
    Board is a contribution to household expenses, not declared taxable income and does not entitle someone to a share of the property.
    Rent must be declared as taxable income and may entitle a partner to claim a share of the property in proportion to mortgage payments.

    IANAL, IANAA and am mentioning advice that has been given to me.

    edit - Death is a completely different story, all assets pass to the partner unless a will specifies otherwise and even then could be overturned

  • Answer: Pre-nup

    • prenups can be challenged, but AFAIK a trust can't be. A simple trust means no one can get your assets without the trust agreeing.

  • It would be fun if the girl in question gets to see this thread.

    • leave your drama on whirlpool. OP came here for answers to:

      What are the implications if we were to break up our relationship or things didn't work out down the track?

      Can she potentially take half of the house even if we aren't married?

      • But the answers could lead op to losing the girl. How is he going to approach the subject to her? Like in the opening post? I'm afraid many in this situation will feel offended and rightly so.

  • +2

    Well, as lovely as you've made out she may be, you have inadvertently reduced her to an imposter in lurch; ask her how she feels about that…

  • Make sure you can show the house was yours before you met and preferably just you would continue to pay mortgage. Seriously - been there and lost that i would get her to sign some legal papers. its common sense.

  • +1

    Back to the ops question..
    Not 100% sure on the law today but in the past she would be entitled to ..
    50% of the appreciated value of your property from the time you started co-habituating as a couple.
    You bear the costs of that property… rates, repairs, etc… too bad.
    50% of anything you purchased.. car, furniture, etc.. even if she did not contribute a cent.
    She would most likely also have part entitlement to any savings and superannuation you accrue in your time together also.
    The fact that she had nothing, pays nothing and earns nothing does not come into it.
    In short… it stinks.
    Written agreements are not worth the paper they are written on.
    Hard to do but males in this country are wise to live alone.
    I wish every male leaving school could have this explained to them, along with other life traps as well.
    Males find out the hard way that they are considered the lowest form of life by our society today….
    Been there… been screwed.

    • you are assuming there's no trust in place. If a trust owns the property in question, she might be given nothing by the trustees. Up to them not some dodgy court.

      • Very rare for the average couple to have a "trust" involved. Splitting hairs there.

      • a trust with a single beneficiary whom is the executor of the trust, is a sham trust.

        always chuck a charity / niece / aunt on it as a beneficiary

    • You do know there is a binding financial agreements which is actually binding.

      However you need lawyers involved to do it properly.

      As for the rest bitter much?

      • +1

        As for the rest bitter?? … realism son! One day you will experience it and learn hopefully.
        Also speak to some experienced solicitors about the viability of written "agreements" with spouses…

        • Know lawyers who put me onto binding financial agreements, in fact my father is one who specializes in Family law. If they are done properly they are airtight.

          However children makes them void as the childs best interest always comes first.

  • set up a trust fund or transfer everything to your brother and say you spent any remaining cash on hookers and cocaine

    • to be a bit cynical, you could say she was given rent etc. in exchange for regular sex.

      • +1

        Honey…rent is due

  • +4

    I know (or knew…) a number of married couples who have (had…) separate finance (and argue about who pays for what) or a prenup. They all have one thing in common: they have miserable relationships where selfishness, greed and lack of trust are the norm, or are by now divorced. I am talking couples who declared unconditional commitment in front of their God, but not in front of their lawyers.

    If you have a beautiful humble partner who contributes where she can, count your blessings, not your money.

    • +1

      Yeah, I'm a bit surprised by some of the replies. To me, that's not a good start to marriage life which is about life long sharing, trust, compromise

  • +5

    Anyone watch the (awesome) TV show 'If you are the one'? Some Chinese female dating contestants will openly demand full and sole control of finances, I presume to keep the future husband from having the means to stray.

    • +1

      At least they're being very blunt and upfront before marriage haha

  • +3

    Eddie, What have you done for me lately?!

    • +1

      I think this reference may be lost on many :)

  • OP is gone. Probably to count his pennies again

  • -3

    If you are willing to marry someone,don't you want to give them everything?

  • you need to bug out of there like RIGHT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • +1

    Government has some info and videos.

    Property and money - settling your finances:
    https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/videos/vid...

    Divorce and separation financial checklist:
    https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/life-event...

  • +1

    fyi

    it isn't 50/50 these days. one mate of mine got 30%

    this is the judges checklist

    1.) are you male … Yes = -30%
    2.) are you educated and work … Yes - 10%
    3.) do you have kids and did you force your partner to take > 6 months off to the point now where she just wants to do nothing forever other than raise her kids … Yes 10%
    4.) did you do at least 50% of the housework .. No - 5%
    5.) did you ever perv on another woman .. yes - 5%

    also

    my partner had very little when she met….she is now minted and i am living the dream….

  • Yes- she is entitled to some of you property right now as she qualifies as a de-facto. As to how much she is entitled to shall be decided if and when the time comes. Once you have children (if) then she will be entitled to much more. For the cheapest advice call and make appointment with http://www.familyrelationships.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx or with http://www.relationshipsvictoria.com.au/. The latter is well regarded and maybe more suited. You can also make some agreement like a pre-nup but once you both have kids together, most of these arrangements go out of the window. There is also some option of living under the same roof but again, you both are in a relationship. Don’t lose much sleep over this. It’s a catch 22.

  • +1

    Pretty interesting thread; I'm in a slightly similar situation. We are de-facto, I have two investment properties and live rent free at my parents place, she does not contribute a cent to my investment properties. I would be lying if I said it doesn't play on my mind at times. However she's on 130k and I'm on 84k so tbh that eases my mind a great deal. I have never "supported" someone before so I don't know how that would go. Good luck to you mate!

    • +2

      Lots of replies here going, If your partner is…. If you love…. If you get together with….

      http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3310.0

      Its hard to do the stats without any more details but at least a third of all marriages end in divorce. So at least 1/3 couples did not experience true "love" as it would be qualified by this forum.

      The main take away here is that partner vetting is important. Its time to pay attention to the other parties pay slip before being caught in a defacto.

      You've done well to be with somebody who earns more than you.

  • +2

    Meh should be okay. Seems to be a more stable relationship then Woolworths has with its subdivision companies lol.

  • Open a trust, chuck assets in trust

  • Whatever you do, don't move into your nearly owned property. It will cause a divorce before you're even married. It will always be YOUR place. Buy another property together with equal amounts being put in so it's "the two of you who own the property". Had a friend who had a similar situation. It was ALWAYS HIS PROPERTY, NEVER THEIRS and it caused huge problems in the eventual marriage and then divorce and then he didn't even get half the value of the property when they split due to the children. He is now renting - can't afford to buy another house (he owned house outright before she moved in). She has re married and has a house.

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