Non-financial contributions are one of the factors that the court will consider when deciding what orders to make in a property settlement case. Under our laws, both married persons and persons in a de facto relationship can now apply for property orders.
It is a contribution, other than financial, that has contributed to the improvement or increase in the asset pool of the parties. The contribution may be made directly or indirectly that has led to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of a property of the parties. To put it simply, the parties have become wealthier because of the party’s input which is not monetary.
An example of a non-financial contribution is that made by a homemaker. Many persons stay at home so that their spouses and de facto partners can go to offices or businesses and work. Staying at home and taking care of the house and children enables the other party to focus on earning an income.
Other common contributions are if a party renovates the family house, does carpentry work, paints the walls, does woodwork or expands the kitchen. Other types of non-financial service rendered may be landscaping the garden, performing secretarial or clerical work for the working party or doing the accounting for the business without being paid for it. The couple does not have to hire a worker anymore to do the aforementioned services.
A property dispute case in court will undergo a four step process. In the second step, the parties will be identifying their individual contributions to the net asset pool of the marriage or de facto relationship. So, it is at this stage that a party will outline his constructive role in making the relationship wealthier. The party seeking recognition of his non-financial contributions must endeavour to make a detailed list.
A value will be placed on the service provided at the rate that it is usually paid. The court will also determine how the accomplishment of the task has improved the net asset pool.
You cannot really be sure. It is up to the Court how it appreciates all the evidence presented. The Court is given a wide discretion in deciding property settlement cases. It follows a four step process of which the last part is ensuring that the property order is just and equitable.
When the court makes its order it will do so only after studying thoroughly the contributions made by each party. This is why it is important to make a detailed list of all the non-financial contributions, when the labour was rendered, the value of the labour if another person had performed it and how it increased the price of the property that was worked on.