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What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce Settlement? (Secure Fair Outcomes)

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Women face many challenges after divorce. Ensuring you receive your entitlements through property settlements and financial support is critical. In this article, we’ll look at what a wife entitled to in a divorce proceeding.

Binding Financial Agreement

Binding financial agreements (BFA) can protect a wife’s entitlements after divorce. However, they must be drafted correctly. A BFA is more flexible than a consent order as they don’t involve the Court. However, there’s a risk one party may not receive a proper division of assets.

Independent legal advice is mandatory to make a BFA binding. A family lawyer will help you achieve a fair and equitable outcome. Your entitlement should account for your contributions to the marriage and your future needs.

It may be better to apply for consent orders to ensure those factors are appropriately considered.

Signing of Binding Financial Agreements

Financial consent orders

In Australian family law, consent orders are the most common way to legally bind a property division. Under the Family Law Act, financial consent orders are organised through a four-step process to ensure a just and equitable division.

Step 1: Identify and value financial resources

Both parties must fully disclose their financial position to ensure a fair division. This allows the Court to identify and value the marriage’s asset pool fully. This means divulging all assets in the relationship, including:

  • Bank accounts

  • Superannuation interests

  • real estate

  • stock portfolios

  • Personal effects.

Often, the husband has more significant financial resources. Ensuring that the entire pool is accounted for is crucial to protect the wife’s entitlement. If you suspect that assets have been hidden, seeking legal advice is vital. A family lawyer can liaise with a forensic accountant to uncover financial fraud.

equally shared divorce settlement

Step 2: assessing contributions

Some clients believe not contributing financially to a marriage will negatively impact their entitlement. However, the Court recognises there are different types of contributions. This protects women who may have given up a career and become financially dependent on their husbands. The two primary considerations are financial and non-financial contributions.

Financial contributions

Financial contributions can include income generated for the benefit of the marriage. It can also include indirect financial contributions. These are contributions that indirectly improve a marriage’s financial position. For example, a wife may advise on business decisions.

Non-financial contributions

Wives frequently make significant non-financial contributions to their marriage. These can include taking responsibility for most of the housework and child care. It is vital to account for this to ensure your entitlement is acknowledged.

A woman thinking about What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce Settlement?

Step 3: future needs

Considering future needs is also crucial to protecting a wife’s entitlement. An adjustment may be made due to circumstances like a wife’s time out of the workforce. Future needs include factors such as a party’s:

  • Health and age;

  • Future earning capacity;

  • child care responsibilities;

  • What financial support is being paid.

Step 4: is it a fair and equitable division?

The Court’s final step is to assess whether the proposed property settlement provides a fair and equitable division. Any adjustments will be made based on the previous steps.

Financial support

The two primary types of support are child support and spousal maintenance.

Child support

If the wife takes primary responsibility for any children involved, they may be entitled to child support. Child support payments are calculated using an 8-step formula. Services Australia carries out the assessment. The formula works out each parent’s income relative to their percentage of child care. Australian divorce

a wife takes responsibility for child support

Spousal maintenance

A wife may be unable to adequately support themselves after divorce for various reasons. If your former spouse can provide financial support, the Court may order them to do so. The Court considers multiple factors when deciding if spousal maintenance is appropriate:

  1. Financial Needs. The Court assesses the needs of the party seeking maintenance, considering their expenses and the standard of living during the marriage.

  2. Paying Capacity. The ability of the other party to provide support is evaluated, ensuring that the maintenance payment is feasible without causing undue financial strain.

  3. Duration of Marriage. The length of the marriage can influence maintenance decisions, as longer marriages may lead to a greater degree of financial interdependence.

  4. Earning Capacity. The Court examines each party’s earning capacity, property, and financial resources. This will be considered if one party has sacrificed their career for marriage or family.

  5. Future Needs. Factors like age, health, and the responsibility of caring for children are considered to determine each party’s future needs.


Women are sometimes concerned that they will be entitled to little after divorce. However, exploring property settlements and financial support options can uphold your entitlement.

Contact us today if you’re going through a divorce and are unsure about your property rights.

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Rowena Ferrall


Rowena Ferrall is the principal lawyer of Ferrall & Co. Lawyers, which was established in 2017. The firm specialises in family law, domestic violence and criminal defence.

Rowena is licensed to practice in Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Her approach combines legal expertise with compassion, ensuring clients receive the right advice and emotional support. She’s an active member of several law associations and supports various charities. Contact Rowena for more information.

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