Ending a defacto relationship Vic can be a complex process.
While it may not involve the formalities of a divorce, there are still legal considerations to keep in mind.
It’s a big step, and while it might be emotionally draining, there are some practical things you need to sort out.
Here are the things you need to do should you consider ending a de facto relationship.
Ending a DeFacto Relationship Vic
Step 1: Communication is Key
The first step in ending a de facto relationship is communication. One party must inform the other that they wish to end the relationship.
Unlike marriage, there’s no formal process like divorce for de facto relationships.
Step 2: Seek Legal Advice
Before you start dividing assets or making big decisions, it’s a good idea to consult a family lawyer.
They can guide you through the legal aspects of ending a de facto relationship, such as property division and child custody.
Step 3: Financial Inventory
Make a list of all shared and individual assets and debts. This includes bank accounts, property, vehicles, and personal items like jewellery.
This will be crucial when it comes to dividing assets.
Step 4: Property and Financial Settlement
You can either agree on how to divide assets and debts amicably or seek legal intervention. If you opt for the latter, you may need to formalise the agreement through a financial agreement or a consent order from the court.
Step 5: Parenting Arrangements
If you have children, you’ll need to sort out custody arrangements. This can be done amicably through family dispute resolution or court orders.
The focus should be on what’s best for the children.
Step 6: Update Legal Documents
Remember to update your will, power of attorney, and any other legal documents that may be affected by the end of your relationship.
Step 7: Maintenance Requests
If one partner is financially dependent on the other, they may be entitled to maintenance. Discuss this openly or consult your lawyer for advice.
Step 8: Time Limits
Remember, you have two years from the date of separation to apply for property and financial settlements.
After this period, you’ll need the court’s permission to apply.
Step 9: Emotional Support
Ending a relationship is emotionally taxing. Don’t hesitate to seek emotional support from friends, family, or professional counsellors.
What Constitutes a De Facto Relationship?
A de facto relationship is defined as two people living together on a genuine domestic basis but are not legally married.
The relationship can be between heterosexual or same-sex couples.
Courts consider various factors like the duration of the relationship, financial dependence, and public perception to determine the existence of a de facto relationship.
Legal Rights and Obligations: Ending a DeFacto Relationship Vic
Even if you’re not legally married, you’re still protected under the Family Law Act 1975.
You may need to divide property, assets, and debts. Both parties may be entitled to a share of the assets if the relationship lasted two years or more or if children are involved.
Always Consult Legal Professionals
Ending a de facto relationship in Victoria involves more than just emotional separation. Legal aspects like property division, child custody, and financial settlements can’t be ignored.
It’s advisable to consult legal professionals to ensure the separation process is as smooth as possible.
Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.