In some instances of relationship breakdown, more than cash and
property need to be divided. Animals or livestock can be a
significant source of income for some parties, and can comprise a
significant proportion of the asset pool.
A divorce or relationship breakdown can be complicated and like
any asset, when farming property and animals form part of the
equation, the process becomes increasingly difficult. In
circumstances where the Court is satisfied it is just and equitable
to do so, the parties will be required to sell up the farm and all
that goes with it.
For example, in the case of Calder & Calder (2016) FLC
93-691, the Family Court considered an appeal and cross-appeal for
the division of property in relation to a $13 million pool of
assets. The parties were married for 34 years and operated a number
of farming enterprises during the course of their relationship so,
consequently, livestock comprised a significant portion of the
On appeal, the wife disputed the way the court treated the
livestock as an asset, asserting that the trial judge should have
divided the livestock in specie and sought to keep them instead.
Her appeal was dismissed, on the basis that the husband's
entitlement would not be satisfied if the asset - the livestock -
wasn't sold and divided between the parties.
Valuing livestock may seem like an impossible task, but it is
certainly a requirement under law to value your livestock as a part
of determining your net income as a business (see our article on
'Full and Frank Disclosure'). You can choose to value your
livestock at the initial cost of the livestock, market selling
value or replacement value.
There are a variety of additional rules supplied by the
Australian Taxation Office to govern this. These regulations
include things like the natural increase in your livestock because
of breeding, the use of livestock for personal purposes (such as a
pet or killing livestock for personal consumption). Specialist
provisions to valuation can apply for more specific livestock
farming like beekeeping, oyster farming and certain horse breeding
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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