COVID-19 has already had a significant impact economically.  People have lost jobs, and superannuation values have been affected. There is a chance we may see further impacts of the COVID-19 virus when it comes to values attributed to relationship property, including real property.

Usually, the value of any property that falls under relationship property is determined by the Court by value at the date of the Hearing. 

In some instances, the Court can decide whether it is more just to value certain property at the date of separation. This decision is usually made where one party has negatively affected the value of property after separation or when elements outside either party’s control negatively affect the value of property.

If relationship property is resolved by way of an agreement outside of Court, usually most assets are valued as at the date of separation with adjustments being made to contributions to that property after separation.

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, relationship property matters that are currently in Court may be affected by the changes in values of property such as real estate and shares. We may see the Court in some cases apportion values at a pre-COVID date after separation to avoid injustices occurring.

If you are in the current process of negotiating a relationship property agreement you may want to ask your lawyer about the legal ramifications of COVID-19 related drops in asset value. If left unquestioned and unchecked, it may be grounds to set aside the agreement later on if challenged by the party that has suffered loss.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced family law team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Shaun Cousins
Family Lawyer