De Facto Relationships

Amelia Cox has extensive experience in dealing with de facto relationship separation. Her down-to-earth, caring, approach to Family Law puts her clients at ease immediately.

Call Amelia now on 1800 891 691 for your initial family law consultation.

AM I IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP?

In order to qualify as being in a de facto relationship for the purposes of family law, you must satisfy ONE of the following:
* You have predominantly lived together for a period of 2 years; OR
* There have been substantial contributions to the parties property (including as a homemaker or a parent), and that the Court not making an Order would be an injustice; OR
* There is a child of the relationship.

Other requirements are:

  • that you must also be living in a genuine domestic relationship,
  • both not legally married,
  • are over 18 and
  • not related.

FOR PROPERTY DIVISION, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARRIAGE AND DE FACTO AFTER SEPARATION?

Property division (otherwise known as property settlement), and care of the children or children’s Orders, for de facto couples are treated much the same way as married couples and covered by the same legislation (the Commonwealth Family Law Act). 

DOES IT AFFECT CARE ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN (MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS CHILDREN’S ORDERS) OR DIVISION OF PROPERTY?

No. Parenting after de facto separation is dealt with in the same way as married couples and the best interests of the children are the paramount consideration when it comes to making any arrangements for the children.

When it comes to children, there is no time limit in seeking the help of the Court should you and your partner not be able to agree on care arrangements or circumstances change. 

However, it is a legal requirement to attend mediation prior to seeking the Court’s help unless there are circumstances (such as a history of family violence) where mediation is not appropriate.

In relation to property matters, for de facto relationships there is 2-year time period after separation that you can seek help from the Courts – for married couples it is 12 months after divorce. 

It is possible to lodge an application with the Court after this time has expired but the Court will require a good explanation regarding the delay, and will also look at the “prejudice” to the parties of the application being brought out of time. This increases legal costs. There is also the possibility that the Court may reject the application.

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PLEASE NOTE:

On 20th November 2023, our office will relocate to Suites 5 & 6, Fountain Plaza, 148-158 Central Coast Highway, Erina.

Our telephone number, email address & website willl remain unchanged.

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