Are You In A DeFacto Relationship?
Under the Family Law Act, defacto couples have the same rights as married couples to seek a property settlement or spouse maintenance payment when they separate. So the question is, how do you know if you are in a defacto relationship?
Firstly, the couple needs to have been in a “genuine domestic relationship.” There are various indicators as to whether that is the case, some of these indicators include:
- The duration of the relationship;
- The nature and extent of their common residence;
- Whether a sexual relationship exists;
- The degree of financial dependence or interdependence and any arrangements for financial support between them;
- The ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
- The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
- The care and support of children (if there are any); and
- The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
If there is a “genuine domestic relationship”, then one of the following needs to exist, i.e:
- The couple had been in the relationship for at least 2 years; or
- There is a child of the relationship (in which case there is no time requirement); or
- It would be unjust not to recognise a defacto spouse’s financial or non-financial contribution.
Each matter is unique and needs to be addressed according to your personal circumstances and needs. To speak with one of our experienced family lawyers, please contact our Brisbane office today. Call us on (07) 3221 4300 to organise a no-obligation initial appointment at a fixed-cost. We will be happy to assist you in person, over the phone or by Skype.