What is a financial resource and how are they treated in property settlements?

What is a financial resource and how are they treated in property settlements?

In property proceedings the Court can only deal with the property that exists at the time of hearing – in other words the Court does not have the power to order a settlement out of property that does not yet belong to one of the parties.  For example, a Court usually will not include a party’s expectation under a Will in the pool of assets to be divided between the parties.

However a financial resource may influence the Courts decision on how to distribute the marriage assets.  In Crapp and Crapp (1979) the Court held that “financial resource” is a term which is clearly intended to be widely embracing and that following the definition of “resource” in the shorter oxford dictionary it indicates it to be “a source of financial support” which a party can reasonably expect will be available to him or her.

In the matter of Campbell the Court held that the wife’s “‘reasonable expectation’ of (significant) future financial assistance, and ultimate substantial inheritance from her parents” was a financial resource.  So while, the wife’s expectation of a significant inheritance was not included in the asset pool for division between the parties it was taken into consideration when determining how much of the asset pool was to be allocated to her.