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Property valuations decided through the court system in family law separation in Australia

Deborah Leshinsky (Department of Economics, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain) (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Stanley McGreal (Faculty of Art Design and the Built Environment, University of Ulster, Belfast, UK)
Paloma Taltavull (Department of Applied Economics, Universitat d'Alacant, Alacant, Spain)
Anthony McGough (Knight Frank LLP, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 26 January 2024




In Family Law Court decisions in Australia, following divorce, the female party is frequently disadvantaged financially in the long term. This paper provides a critical assessment of valuation evidence as a data source in research and discusses valuation accuracy, valuation variation and valuation bias, as well as the Australian family court system and the role of valuers as expert witnesses. In particular, valuation in family law, as it relates to gender inequality, is discussed. The study aims to determine whether the current system of valuation in the Family Law Courts disadvantages women. This paper was important to reveal information that stakeholders in family law cases use on a day-to-day basis.


A database of 658 cases was developed and analysed to examine the influence of valuations of the matrimonial home provided by both the male and female parties on the final decision of the court.


Findings showed that valuations from the female party had marginally more influence on the outcome. However, financial disadvantages for the female party persist despite this. This raises several questions for future research, regarding reasons for this persistent disadvantage.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations included a time-consuming process.

Practical implications

Further researchers can use the findings from this paper to further research.

Social implications

Social implications include the ability of the research to impact on society. In this regard, it was the matrimonial home in relation to divorce proceedings.


The originality of this paper stems from the analysis of a database that was created from a large number of cases from Austlii database family law cases.



Leshinsky, D., McGreal, S., Taltavull, P. and McGough, A. (2024), "Property valuations decided through the court system in family law separation in Australia", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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