Loading...

Property Settlements in De Facto Relationships

16 May 2007

There is a lot of confusion surrounding howproperty settlements are dealt with in defacto relationships following a relationship breakdown.

The law is complex and therefore there is no substitute for Specialist legal advice however this Article by Michael Lynch, of Michael Lynch Family Lawyers will identify some of the issues, i.e:
  • The law that applies for property settlements in defacto relationships is determined by each State. The law that applies for property settlements in marriages is governed by the Federal Government in the Family Law Act.
  • There are some significant differences in the law between marriages and defacto relationships, e.g. (in Queensland) in defacto relationships superannuation is not part of the property that can be divided and spouse maintenance is not available to defacto couples.
  • In Queensland, a defacto couple is defined as being a ‘genuine domestic relationship’, where:
    • The parties have been living in a defacto relationship for at least 2 years; or
    • There is a child of the defacto relationship (in which case, no cohabitation period is required).
  • The criteria for the division of property under the Queensland legislation is similar to the criteria set out under the Family Law Act i.e it considers financial and non-financial contributions made by each party, as well as a spouse’s current and future needs.
  • The Queensland legislation enables defacto couples who do not want to be bound by the legislation to enter into a Recognised Agreement, this is an enforceable agreement similar to a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.

There have been discussions between the State and Federal Governments for many years about the States referring their powers for defacto relationship property settlements to the Commonwealth.

On the 1 March, 2009 the Family Law Act was amended to enable it to determined property settlements for defacto couples where they have separated after 1 March 2009. South Australia and Western Australia have not referred their State powers and therefore couples in those states do not come within the Family Law Act.

The definition of a defacto relationship (under the Family Law Act) is very similar to the definition in the Queensland legislation.

For further Specialist Family and Relationship Law advice contact Michael Lynch Family Lawyers on telephone (07) 3221 4300. To receive a free copy of their monthly newsletter visit www.mlfl.com.au and join on-line.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to make an appointment to discuss your personal circumstances please telephone us on 3221 4300 or email us at law@mlynch.com.au

Call us Today on

(07) 3221 4300

or send us your question and we’ll get
back to you as soon as possible.

 Yes, I'd like to subscribe to the Michael Lynch Newsletter.

In submitting this information I confirm that I agree
with Michael Lynch Family Lawyers privacy policy.

Client Testimonials

Helen’s communication with me was exceptional, I knew exactly what was happening
AA, Eatons Hill
The professionalism and reliability delivered by Amy Honan was fantastic. I had an urgent matter around my property sale and Amy offered to provide assistance over a weekend if I required it – that’s above and beyond!
E.F. Nundah
So pleased to have had a good, sound and knowledgeable firm
CW, Brookfield
I really liked the personable service by Michael, the simple plain language he adopts and his patience
AO, North Brisbane
Elizabeth was very helpful
FP, Kangaroo Point
Amy, thanks very much to you and your team. Throughout my dealings with MLFL I have been continually impressed with your level of professionalism and in particular your understanding of circumstances and the articulate way you conduct yourself. I was completely satisfied with today’s outcome and without your experience and expertise in family law I doubt that the result would have been achieved.
MR, West End
I always felt that the service provided by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers was of a high standard. Each time, after appointments I came away feeling secure. Keep doing what you are and maintain the ‘family feel’ that permeates your services.
CW, Brookfield
Amy’s work was extremely professional but above all she has a manner and wisdom in dealing with people under stress. I will be recommending your firm to anyone that requires assistance.
KH, Augustine Heights
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers always gave me competent and knowledgeable advice. I was always given the best advice and I was consistently kept up to date. The meetings and phone calls were kept business-like, yet caring and thoughtful of my emotional state at the time. Thank you.
J.S. Holland Park
Your newsletters are great, I appreciate them
KB, Carina
I liked my solicitor keeping things as simple as possible
SM, Clayfield
Clare acted with professionalism in all her dealings with me and with the lawyer on the other side. I was always kept in the loop. I liked Clare’s approach. Thanks.
D.S. Coorparoo
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers have really listened to me. I felt confident my case was handled well. The law has changed recently and I did not feel that a previous law practice I spoke to was suitably up-to-date.
PB, Carindale
Michael is a good listener. My documentation maintained the high moral ground.
SS, Hamilton
Thank you for providing me with a professional yet empathetic approach to gain the best outcome for me. My solicitor was excellent in explaining the processes and in representing me in Court. You have great customer service!
T.V. Everton Park
I appreciate you being upfront with fee estimates. You also have a fantastic website and the seminars REALLY helped to get me focussed.
T.C. Tarragindi
You guys provide extraordinary service
AO, North Brisbane
I was impressed by my solicitor’s attention to detail and her concern for me and that the process was explained to me and that I understood it at all times.
BW, Chapel Hill
The staff at Michael Lynch Family Lawyers were great. Helen was fantastic, professional, understanding, caring, she always communicated with me. I knew I was in good hands.
AA, Eatons Hill
I appreciate Elizabeth’s professional approach and her being on top of my situation
NS, Mt Gravatt
Hi Amy,Thank you. You have been diligent, accurate and pro-active for the entire duration of my matter I appreciate it.
RP, Cleveland
Michael knew what he was talking about.
RM, Warwick
I really appreciated the happiness of your secretarial staff
GC, Clayfield
Thank you, you placed my needs first, you were aware of the need to reach a final result and not get caught up in the personal issues of the other party
SL, Moranbah
I like your friendly service and the ability to speak to my solicitor directly
RG, Wishart
Helen was professional, warm, friendly and real
NR, Crows Nest
I like Helen’s personable nature. I was also always confident that I was getting the very best advice
TS, Flinders
May I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you and your staff for the excellent professional services I received and a special thanks to Helen for the confidence and trust she engendered throughout the entire legal process, in a word, priceless.
DH , Hendra
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers are easy to deal with and their systems are good.
DT, Ferny Grove
I was very impressed with the first initial interview. Everything was well explained and the advice was honest about what I should expect.
CM, Morningside
Amelia is knowledgeable, professional and very calm.
A.C. Helensvale
Helen was very helpful in assisting me to combat a very ugly situation without stooping to the low levels that the other solicitor attempted to take us
MJ, Manly
If I need a family lawyer in the future I’ll be heading to Michael Lynch Family Lawyers again.
CW, Brookfield
I’m very glad Michael is my lawyer and not the other side’s solicitor.
SS, Hamilton
Thank you Helen, you kept me sane in a difficult situation and gave me the encouragement and the confidence to keep going. You made me feel extremely comfortable.
A.M. Chambers Flat
At Michael Lynch Family Lawyers I got professional and no nonsense advice, costs were within quoted amounts and my matter was resolved quickly – well done!
LR, Ascot
Many thanks for your assistance – life is now great – I’m moving on
J.K, Mansfield
My solicitor provided a personalised service, prompt and quick responses and cost information prior to my commitment
GC, Southport
I like that my lawyer treated me like a friend and kept jargon to a minimum. She was easy to contact and kept me informed.
LR, Samford
Hi Clare, Thank you for your ongoing conciliatory approach in this matter and as always I appreciate your level headed advice. I certainly feel that I ended up with the right Solicitor.
SC, Nundah.
Helen provided a personalised and professional service. Information has been clear and provided timely to assist my decision making
SS, Hamilton
Elizabeth is lovely to deal with and provides a balanced view in what are very difficult circumstances
AC, Morningside
Kirstie, thank you for the outstanding legal advice you have provided and professionalism in which you conduct yourself. I am truly thankful that it was you who represented me
MT, Stafford.
Michael is very personable and very good at covering the material and explaining the strategy
JO, Hawthorne
Michael was the most knowledgeable of all lawyers I spoke to when looking for a lawyer. He showed professionalism.
RR, Brighton
Thank you Amelia for being very personable, professional and always providing me with the most appropriate advice in my times of difficulty. The other party’s lawyers were extremely aggressive while Michael Lynch Family Lawyers remained calm and professional.
S.D. Parkinson
Hi Amy, Thank you for all that you have done during this matter. You impressed me with your professionalism from our initial meeting, and you have proven beyond doubt, to have had the skills and knowledge required. You are a credit to the company, and I would highly recommend you to anyone in a similar situation.
RP, Cleveland
Thank you for the great newsletter. Your article on “Coping with Christmas” is brilliant – clear, caring and helpful. Thanks again
CT, Bribie Island.
I have appreciated the way that you and the staff at your firm have handled my situation. I would especially like to mention the professional and caring way Kirstie conducted my case, I am deeply grateful and extremely happy with the results. I will be referring others to your service
JH, Wellington Point.
Helen, Thank you for helping me throgh this difficult time. You have been caring, compassionate and efficient. Some of my divorcing friends have not been so fortunate. In my mind you are the best family lawyer in Brisbane. If anyone I know needs a good family lawyer, I will tell them to speak to you. Thanks again.
B.T. Clayfield
I was guided through a really difficult time with Elizabeth’s expertise. I am more than happy with the outcome of mediation
JH, Windaroo