When a relationship comes to an end, the assets of the relationship must be divided. In most cases, parties are financially tied to each other, and they need assistance to financially re-establish themselves by separating the assets.
The principals of determining a property settlement for both married couples and de facto partners are the same, but the Act makes a distinction between the two types of relationships by separating them under different sections of the Act. Section VIII of the Family Law Act deals with married couples and Section VIIIAB of the Family Law Act deals with de facto relationships
The term property has a broad definition. It can include a house, car, bank accounts and furniture but also include superannuation entitlements and in some circumstances involve Family Trusts. It also includes the property brought into and purchased during the relationship.