By and -

Key decisions

  • Roverati [2021] FamCAFC 89
  • Lin & Ruan [2021] FamCAFC 90
  • Dobbs [2021] FamCAFC 78
  • Nagel & Clay [2021] FamCA 358


Equal assessment of contributions failed to give recognition to husband’s inheritance which made up 30 per cent of the pool

In Roverati [2021] FamCAFC 89 (11 June 2021) the Full Court (Strickland, Ryan and Austin JJ) considered a 33 year marriage that produced two children. In 2003, the wife received an inheritance of about $50,000, which was put in a trust and had not generated income. In 2006, the husband received an inheritance, worth at least $404,619, that generated rental income. The net pool was $1,317,405 (at [60]).

Allowing the appeal, Strickland and Ryan JJ said (from [27]):

‘The … husband’s complaint … [is] that … his Honour implicitly concluded that both inheritances were similar in nature, and … his Honour erred by giving no or insufficient weight to the [husband’s] inheritance …

[32] … [T]he husband’s inheritance was … at least … $404,619.64, whereas the wife’s … approximately $50,000. … [T]he husband’s financial contribution … was significantly more than the wife’s, … without taking into account the income subsequently derived therefrom, and the increases in the value of the assets …

[33] … [T]he assessment of contributions is not a mathematical or accounting exercise, … it is an holistic undertaking with all … contributions … being taken into account (Dickons & Dickons [2012] FamCAFC 154 … ) …

[34] … [I]t is not apparent from his Honour’s treatment of the respective contributions … culminating in a finding of equality, how the contributions of the wife informed that outcome, such that the … financial contributions of the husband … did not result in a weighting in his favour. …

[39] … There is no recognition that approximately 30 per centum of the asset pool … was derived from the husband’s inheritance, and his Honour’s failure … cannot be masked by suggesting that his Honour … applied the requisite holistic approach in assessing contributions …

[58] … [G]iven the significant financial contribution by the husband of his inheritance, … the respective contributions of the parties should be assessed at 55 per centum/45 per centum in the husband’s favour.’

You've reached the end of this article preview

There's more to read! Subscribe to LSJ today to access the rest of our updates, articles and multimedia content.

Subscribe to LSJ

Already an LSJ subscriber or Law Society member? Sign in to read the rest of the article.

Sign in to read more