De facto Relationships
If you are in a de facto relationship, you have many of the same legal rights as if you are married. This applies when it comes to property division, financial agreements and child custody. It's important for de facto couples to understand how the law affects them during family law disputes.
Our experienced family law specialist in Wollongong can help de facto couples settle family law matters fairly.
What Determines a De Facto Relationship?
When determining a de facto relationship, the Court will look at:
• the length of the relationship
• living arrangements
• financial arrangements
• whether there is or was a sexual relationship
• whether property or other assets are jointly owned
• whether you care or have cared for children together
• the way you presented your relationship to friends, family and/or the public
The sex of the partners is irrelevant as laws specifically state that a de facto relationship can exist between two people regardless of sex. Keep in mind that there is no absolute rule that marks a precise point when a couple becomes de facto. The law needs to be flexible as relationships are highly personal and can take many different forms.
As you might expect, the same laws apply regarding children of de facto couples as they do for married couples in the event of a separation. The primary consequence of being in a de facto relationship that can takes many people by surprise is granting a stake in property assets to the other person.
Separating de facto couples have essentially the same rights and liabilities as married couples in regard to property and other financial settlements, including spousal maintenance.
Do You Need Help With Your Next Steps?
If you have recently separated from a de facto partner and need to settle a dispute, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.