What happens if I make money after I split with my ex? Who gets it?

Navigating financial decisions can be akin to walking through a minefield, especially when it comes to personal investments post separation. For many individuals in Australia, the question looms large: Should I hold off on making any personal investments or acquiring property until reaching an agreement with my ex-partner?

What factors can significantly influence negotiations or litigation in Court regarding the division of assets in Australia, particularly in relation to post-separation contributions.

In Australia, post separation contributions made by either person or on their behalf can significantly impact negotiations or litigation in Court in relation to the division of assets.  These post separation contributions, whether financial or non-financial, may be considered in the division of assets between a separating couple.  What complicates matters is that post-separation contributions aren’t always treated distinctly from those made during the relationship.

The key lies in understanding the nuances of this legal landscape. As you embark on this journey post-separation, exercising caution in financial matters becomes paramount. Any investments made during this period could potentially become entangled in the division of assets process. Therefore, it’s crucial to be prudent and seek appropriate legal advice to safeguard your interests and ideally before you proceed with an investment post separation. Ultimately, transparency fosters fairness and facilitates the negotiation process. Until a settlement is reached, both parties are legally obliged to disclose their ongoing finances. Such disclosure includes but is not limited all relevant financial information such as income, expenditure, assets, liabilities, and financial resources.

The case of Calvin & McTier [2017] FamCAFC 125 illustrated that post separation contributions ought to be evaluated in the context of the entire relationship, taking into account factors such as the duration of the relationship, the financial and non-financial contributions of each party, and any other relevant circumstances.  The Court conducted a holistic assessment of both parties’ contributions throughout the relationship, their respective needs and the overall fairness of the outcome was determined. Ultimately, it was held that post-separation contributions should be assessed in light of the overall contributions made by each party to the acquisition, conservation, or improvement of the assets in question.

What considerations should be made before making financial decisions following a separation, and how can Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers assist in navigating these decisions?

Before you invest, it’s imperative you understand and carefully consider the potential ramifications and how your former partner may benefit in ways you may not have intended.  Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers can assist you by providing tailor made advice.  We can consider your proposed investments and how a successful outcome may impact the division of assets.  We can work with you and devise strategies to mitigate any adverse effects.  The decision to hold off on personal investments until reaching an agreement with your ex-partner hinges on various factors, including the complexity of your financial situation and the amicability of your separation. While it may seem prudent to postpone such decisions until matters are settled, it’s equally essential to strike a balance between safeguarding your financial interests and maintaining your financial autonomy.  It is safe to assume that nothing is really “yours” until the Court says so or until you and your ex reach a final agreement which is then made legally binding.

In conclusion, understanding the legal implications, exercising caution, and seeking expert advice are crucial steps in safeguarding your financial future. By approaching this process with our input and advice will provide you with clarity and help you shape decisions for now and the future

Georgia Mort

Senior Associate

Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers

E: [email protected]

P: +61 39320 3900


The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by you. If you require advice specific to your situation you must contact Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers. The contents of this blog are relevant as of 1 March 2024. We recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family’s situation.


Back to News