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Australia moves towards 50/50 division of matrimonial assets

Husband’s special contribution given ‘unacceptable weight’

A landmark judgment in the Family Court of Australia has allowed an appeal by a wife and granted her 50% of the matrimonial assets.

In Kane & Kane [2013] FamCAFC 205 the court at first instance had recognises the husband's 'special contribution' in investing funds, which were part of a superannuation fund, in shares which realised a significant profit. Consequently the husband was awarded two-thirds of the fund. Other matrimonial assets were shared equally.

On appeal, the court decided that ''unacceptable weight'' had been given to the husband's ''special skills''.

The Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court, John Faulks, said that the disproportionate division of the property ''could not be justified''.