No matter if it is a legally binding marriage or a long-term relationship, when a personal partnership breaks down, it becomes very clear that you could be leaving behind a substantial investment. This could be financially and emotionally. So, when it is time to walk away, understandably it can be quite difficult.
Under the Family Law Act (since 2009) de facto couples have the same rights as married couples to seek a property settlement or spouse maintenance payment when they separate.
If you have found yourself in a situation after years committed to another person, that your de facto relationship has ended, Michael Lynch Family Lawyers will be able to help guide you through what to do next.
How do you know if you are in a defacto relationship?
Firstly, as defined in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975, to be considered ‘de facto’ a couple needs to have been together on a “genuine domestic basis.” 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 and substantial contributions that may have been made;
- The care and support of children (if there are any); and
- The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
If found to be together on a ‘genuine domestic basis’, one of the following needs to exist;
- 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.
If you’d like to find out more on the topic of defacto relationship, please read the following featured articles:
For a defacto couple’s property settlement it is important to determine when separation occurred.
It may seem simple, but from our experience it rarely is. We need to be able to establish the current and ongoing living arrangements. Is one partner likely to need to move out of the family home? Or can you be in the house but separated. It is crucial to document a timeline of events and other important information in order to make the process of separation less stressful. >…
If you have separated, it is important that you get Family Law advice about how to achieve a property settlement. There are strict time limits that apply, so if you miss them there can be real problems.
The Family Law Act provides that for defacto couples you will have 2 years from the date of separation in which to finalise your property settlement. If you miss this time limitation, you must first obtain leave of the court to proceed out of time. This is not a straight-forward process, the application may be granted in the event that you, or your child suffer hardship. Read full article >…
You may have an understanding that you are in a defacto relationship but what happens now? Like every relationship there are challenges to resolve: parenting, property, child support. How does that effect you? Here’s a quick guide >…
Defacto relationships are no different to other relationships when it comes to trying to resolve issues. Amicable outcomes are always best.
Mediation provides an alternative to going to Court. It involves you and your former partner, sitting down with an independent third party. Here are some helpful tips as to whether mediation would be suitable for you. >…
Speak to One of Queensland’s Largest Family Law Firms
Rather than trying to take on a defacto separation, property settlement or spouse maintenance by yourself, we can be on your side throughout the entire process. For a fixed-cost no obligation initial appointment to discuss your specific situation, call Michael Lynch Family Lawyers on (07) 3221 4300 or fill out our online form.