Family lawyers often hear things such as:
“My wife has the kids…I guess she gets 60%?”
Is there any truth to such statements? Yes and no – but mainly no.
After a Court has identified and valued each parties’ interests and assets, the Law says that contributions should then be identified and assessed. After that takes place, there is a final step where adjustments can be made, based on numerous factors relating to a parties’ current and future circumstances. One of those factors is the ongoing care of any children.
Whether the Law will make an adjustment depends upon the facts of each case, and on many different competing factors – some of these include:-
- How many children there are;
- The age of the children;
- The care arrangements that are in place for the children (i.e – is it a week about shared care arrangement or is it a 9/5 fortnight arrangement, or something else);
- Any special need or circumstances relating to the children?
- Child support arrangements – is child support being paid?
Also, under this adjustment step, the Law has to have regard to a whole lot of other factors that do not just relate to the ongoing care of the children. Such factors include things such as the age and state of health of each party and their current and expected earning capacities for the future – to name just a few.
It is difficult exercise to weigh each of those factors and apply the appropriate weight to each of the factors depending upon the circumstances of each case.
Only an experienced accredited family law specialist who has practiced in the area for a substantial period of time and is able to keep themselves up to date with the recent Case Law, is equipped to provide such advice.
Unfortunately, there is no straight forward mathematical answer that says someone should get a fixed percentage adjustment based on the number of children. Life would be a lot easier for us family lawyers if that was indeed the case.