Assets and Family Law During Separation

Business Insights

When it comes to separating, no two cases are the same. 

Some clients will have assets that they are looking to grow or protect, while others may be under financial hardship and considering engaging an insolvency specialist.

RSM specialists from both sides of the financial spectrum share their key insights into both asset protection and asset utilisation when it comes to separating spouses.

Important factors to consider when dealing with a Bankruptcy Trustee in family law matters 

  • Make sure to identify the divisible assets of the bankrupt spouse – these assets have vested in the bankrupt estate.It is important to consider assets and family law matters when it comes to separation as no two cases are the same. 
  • Liaise/negotiate with the Trustee for divisible assets and with the bankrupt spouse (or their representative) for non-divisible assets.
  • Provide ongoing notification to, and actively engage with, the Trustee regarding the family law settlement.
  • The Trustee is interested in proceedings with material divisible assets.
  • The Trustee will likely act commercially in any settlement or proceeding.
  • The Trustee is usually keen to avoid being joined to proceedings.
  • When not joined to proceedings, it may be prudent to obtain written confirmation from the Trustee that they agree (or do not object) to the orders being made.

How to help your clients grow and protect their assets post-separationassets and family law matters

  • Taking stock – separation is a time to reset as it likely means a substantial change to the client’s financial situation and goals. Understanding your client’s new circumstances, needs and goals is essential. 
  • Structuring is critical to drive positive outcomes – how are existing structures affected by the separation? Are new structures required to navigate the client’s new circumstances?
  • The path forward – utilising appropriate structures can provide protection for clients from themselves and others and when coupled with an investment strategy tailored to the client’s goals, this goes a long way toward providing long-term financial security for your clients.

For more information

Whatever situation you and your client are facing, the team at RSM have dedicated Family Law specialists on hand to guide you, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcomes for your clients.

RSM Australia recently hosted a webinar on "Assets and Family Law during Separation" prested by Shannon O'Connor and Simon Robinson. If you would like to view the recording, click here.


Simon Robinson
Financial Adviser - Sydney

Shannon O’Connor
Senior Manager - Perth

Contact Shannon