We regularly advise and act for people who have been in de facto relationships, including same sex relationships
as to all aspects of financial settlement and parenting matters either prior to or following separation
In March 2009 a new day dawned for de facto relationships – provided couples who separate after 1 March 2009, parties to a de facto relationship are entitled to have their claim for a property settlement and spousal maintenance determined in the Family Court alongside married couples.
Despite not sealing their relationship with a ring, a couple (heterosexual or in a same sex relationship) who have lived together on a genuine domestic basis for at least 2 years (or less if they have a child, registered their relationship under the law of the State or one made a significant contribution to the property of the other or the welfare of the family unit) are considered to be in a de facto relationship for the purpose of family law.
This means that if you were in a de facto relationship you should not fear that you will walk away empty handed following separation. The Family Law Act makes special provision for the adjustment of property and financial support, in very much the same way as a married couple.
As with marriages, there are time limits – any court application must be made within two years of the separation. Time is usually of the essence, and we encourage clients to consult us as soon as possible after a separation in order to best evaluate your claim.
For further information, please consult our pages regarding Financial Settlement and Parenting Arrangements.