Stacks can advise you on your legal rights as a de facto couple, and assist you with any issues arising from the breakdown of your de facto relationship
In the eyes of the law, a de facto relationship exists if a couple lives together on a domestic basis and the two parties are neither married to one another, nor related by family. A de facto relationship can exist even if one of the parties is still married to somebody else.
Since the 2009 amendments to the Family Law Act, de facto couples (including same sex couples) have had identical rights to married couples, meaning that the same rules now apply for resolving issues arising from a separation. The law is also applied in the same way for matters involving children.
Following a de facto relationship breakdown, the court can make an order about the division of property or maintenance as long as one of the following criteria is met:
- The relationship existed for at least two years, although there is an exception if there would be hardship caused to one or both of the parties if the court declined to make an order
- There is a child of the de facto relationship
- One of the partners in the relationship made substantial financial or personal contributions to the relationship (eg as an income earner, the contribution of a lump sum, or as a homemaker or parent), to the extent that it would be unjust if they were not compensated in some way
- The de facto relationship was registered in a state or territory
Stacks can advise you on your rights as a de facto couple, including those relating to the distribution of property, spouse maintenance, and children’s issues in the event that your de facto relationship breaks down. We will look at the details of your particular situation and help you reach a settlement with your former partner that offers you the best long-term outcome. In all matters we will try to facilitate agreement between both parties in order to avoid the need for a court hearing.
Need advice about the law relating to de facto relationships? Call us today