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De Facto Relationships

If your de facto relationship broke down after March 2009, then your rights to access the Family Law Act for a property settlement are almost identical to your married counterparts.

Whether your children are the result of a de facto relationship, marriage, or no relationship at all, your rights are equal. 

Often the biggest hurdle for parties wanting to make a property claim; is to prove that there was a de facto relationship. Generally the Court will consider a range of factors in deciding whether parties were in a de facto relationship, including:

  1. They must not be married to one another, or related to one another;
  2. Must have a relationship as a couple, living together on a genuine domestic basis;
  3. The duration of the relationship;
  4. The nature and extent of their common residence;
  5. Whether a sexual relationship exists;
  6. Financial interdependence, or financial support;
  7. Mutual commitment to a shared life;
  8. Ownership and acquisition of property
  9. Registration of relationship;
  10. Birth or care of child or children.

De facto relationships can occur between persons of same sex, or different sexes. A person can be in a de facto relationship despite being legally married to another person.

Generally speaking to qualify as being in a de facto relationship, parties must either live together for a period of two years. The time will be shortened, in cases where a child has been conceived or born, or there has been significant financial contributions, or acquisitions.

To initiate a property settlement after the breakdown in a de facto relationship, time limits apply. An application must be filed within 2 years of the breakdown in the relationship.

Applications can be filed after 2 years in certain circumstances.

If your de facto relationship has broken down we suggest that you book in and talk to one of our experts.