Contributions by husband greater than wife
Assessment of contributions
- Although the husband had somewhere between $193,565 or $151,565 coming into the relationship, not all of that was utilised for the acquisition of further assets by the parties as $63,327 was in superannuation. As noted earlier, there is no historical valuation of Property D, however when it was sold a year after the parties commenced living together it netted just under $100,000. Therefore, the husband’s estimate of the value of the equity in the Property D property at the commencement of the relationship is the more probable of the two.
- However, the Court is not overly concerned with the exact amount of the value of the husband’s initial contribution, particularly given the findings at paragraph 26. The Court is satisfied that the husband contributed significantly more than the wife did coming into the relationship. Furthermore, but for the husband’s initial contributions the parties would not have acquired the Property P property and consequently the Property F property, which was leveraged off the Property P property.
- The husband contributed $39,270 directly towards the purchase of Property P, and $79,059 was utilised indirectly to reduce the interest payable on Property P thus increasing the equity even ever so slightly. Further, the $79,059 was money which was available to the parties and for their purposes when they purchased the Property F property.
- Noting that during the relationship the husband’s income was significantly higher than that of the wife, and that since separation the wife alone has not been able to make the mortgage repayments and all of the costs associated with the Property P property (even on her now comparatively much higher income), the financial contributions made by the husband towards the payment of the mortgage, rates, insurances and utilities, and the parties’ general living expenses during the relationship are assessed as overall significantly greater than the wife’s.
- The parties’ non-financial contributions during the relationship, as well as the parties’ post separation contributions, are both assessed as equal. In this regard, I have taken into regard, the findings at paragraphs 42 to 51 of these Reasons in particular, and otherwise matters as relevantly found.
- The overall contributions by the husband are assessed at 85% and the overall contributions by the wife are assessed at 15%.
Section 75(2) Factors
- The wife is 23 years old and the husband is 28 years old.
- Both the husband and wife are in relatively good health. In this regard, the wife asserts in her Affidavit that she suffers from two medical conditions. There is no independent expert evidence in respect of any diagnosis or prognosis, nor is there any independent expert evidence regarding any effect on the wife’s future earning capacity as a consequence of the medical conditions she asserts she has. The Court does not find that the wife has any diminished earning capacity as a consequence of the two medical conditions she says she suffers from.
- Both the husband and the wife are presently in full time employment.
- At the time the parties commenced cohabitation, the wife was 20 years old. She was earning $38,404 gross per year in 2014. At the same time, the husband was 25 years old and he was earning $89,000 gross per year. At the time of hearing, as already noted the wife is only 23 years old. She is currently earning $55,000 per year. Her income has increased by $17,000 gross since the parties’ commenced cohabitation. The husband’s current income is $91,000. His income has increased by $2,000 gross since the parties’ commenced cohabitation.
- The wife at present earns about $36,000 gross per annum less than the husband. She says in her evidence that the qualifications which she obtained during the parties’ relationship have increased her ability to find work and indeed without these qualifications she says she would not be able to work in her current role.
- While there is still a disparity of income between the parties at the time of hearing, the Court is not satisfied on the evidence that there will continue to be a similar disparity of income between the parties in the years to come. Likewise, the Court is not satisfied that there will not continue to be a similar disparity.  The Court is not able to make any findings in this regard, either one way or the other.
- There are no children of the relationship.
- The Court notes that the wife has already had the benefit of $35,000 at the time of separation. As previously mentioned, this is not an amount which the husband sought to be included as an add-back, or in respect of which any submissions were otherwise made.
- Likewise, the husband has already had the benefit of $30,000 at the time of separation. This was part of the money which the husband brought into the relationship after the sale of the Property D, as referred to earlier in these reasons.
- Taking into consideration the facts found above and in all the circumstances no adjustment will be made in respect of 75(2) factors.