De Facto Relationships.
Separation affects couples of shapes and sizes, there is no one size fits all.
De facto couples that are separating can access the same support and have parenting and property matters dealt with in the same way as married couples.
For a couple to be considered as being in a de facto relationship, it is generally having lived together on a genuine domestic basis for at least 2 years. While one of the primary considerations, time alone is not the only piece of the puzzle.
When the court is determining if the couple was living together on a ‘genuine domestic basis’ they will also consider:
- duration of the relationship, being at least 2 years;
- nature and extent of the common residence, including household duties;
- whether a sexual relationship existed;
- financial dependence and interdependence of the parties, such as joint accounts or pooled funds;
- ownership and acquisition of ‘property’, including real estate and other assets;
- mutual consent to a shared life;
- whether the relationship is registered under the law of the State in which the parties reside(d);
- care and support of any children of the relationship, or prior relationships; and
- reputational and public aspects of the relationship, such as attending events as a couple or if someone saw you in the street would they think you are a couple.
De facto couples can access the family law system in the same way as married couples. It is important to note that there are time limits that apply after the breakdown of a de facto relationship and any court application must be made within 2 years of the date of separation.
Contact our team today for a quick chat to determine if your relationship qualifies and to book an initial advice consultation with no obligation.
Separating from your de facto partner can also have implications for your Will and Power of Attorney so it is important to seek holistic advice that includes estate planning. Our in-house estate planning lawyer can work with your family lawyer to support you in working this out and you can find out more here.
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