www.news.com.au is today reporting that The Today Show host Karl Stefanovic has finalised his “divorce” with his former wife Cassandra Thorburn. Now the reference to finalising his divorce is legally inaccurate as the making of a divorce order can only occur when parties have been separated for a period of 12 months.
Reading further it becomes apparent that what has occurred is the finalisation of Karl and Cassandra’s property settlement matters, giving effect to a distribution of their matrimonial asset pool.
Karl and Cassandra appear to have adopted a conciliatory approach and amicably resolved their property settlement issues, possibly by way of Binding Financial Agreement. It is refreshing to see a celebrity couple taking this path and limiting the airing of laundry so to speak.
The article identifies what it believes to be a very favourable split in favour of Ms Thorburn both in respect of property settlement, spousal maintenance and child support.
If the report is accurate and Karl is in receipt of $3mill per annum for hosting the Today Show, then this outcome may well be entirely appropriate.
It was widely reported that Cassandra gave up her career to support that of Karl and to raise their children. These decisions, made as a family, have dramatically and irreversibly affected Cassandra’s earning capacity. The Family Law Act recognises the importance of these issues under s75(2) wherein the Court (and parties whilst negotiating) is required to consider the length of the relationship and its effect of the relationship on the income and earning capacity of each spouse. More often than not, in traditional family structures, there is one spouse who adopts the role of primary homemaker and parent. It is this spouse who’s income and earning capacity is often dramatically effected such that when separation occurs they are faced with the ominous task of financially supporting themselves and their children when their employable skills are grossly out of date or sometimes completely irrelevant in this changing modern era.
These adjustment or “future needs” factors are often the most hotly contested issues in property settlement disputes. How much of an adjustment the lesser financial spouse is entitled to is subject to a number of factors including the number of children, their ages and needs and the size of the asset pool.
If you are separated or facing separation and are concerned about your financial future in circumstances whereby you have been the stay at home parent, the expert team at Marino Law can provide you with clear and concise advice about your rights and entitlements and guide you through the property settlement maze in a timely and cost efficient manner. It is important that you act quickly to secure advice and protect your financial position. Contact Marino Law Partner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Abbi Golightly to discuss your circumstances and how Marino Law can help.