De Facto Relationship Break up Entitlements: 6 Helpful Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

de facto relationship break up entitlements | Melbourne Family Lawyers

De Facto Relationship Break up Entitlements: 6 Helpful Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

In Australia, de facto relationships are recognised under the law, and individuals involved in such relationships have certain de facto relationship break up entitlements and rights regarding separation and property settlement.

This article written by our property settlement lawyers aims to comprehensively understand de facto relationship breakup entitlements, including the legal framework, property division, financial support, and other crucial aspects.

What Is de Facto?

De facto refers to a relationship where a couple lives together and behaves as partners without being legally married.

In Australia, de facto relationships are legally recognised if criteria are met, including mutual commitment, a genuine domestic partnership, and minimum relationship duration.

De facto partners have rights and de facto relationship break up entitlements similar to those of married couples. The Family Law Act 1975 governs the rights and obligations of de facto couples.

What Are the Factors To Be Considered de Factor Relationship and Exceptions?

Several factors determine whether a relationship qualifies as a de facto relationship. These factors include:

1. Mutual Commitment: The couple must demonstrate a mutual commitment to a shared life together, as evidenced by their actions, conduct, and intentions.

2. Domestic Partnership: They must live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. This involves sharing a residence, financial arrangements, and household responsibilities.

3. Relationship Duration: Generally, the relationship must have a duration of at least two years, but exceptions exist for cases where there is a child of the relationship, the relationship is registered under a state or territory law, substantial contributions have been made, or severe injustice would result if the relationship were not recognised.

Exceptions to the two-year requirement include situations where there are:

– A child of the de facto relationship.

– Registration of the relationship under a prescribed state or territory law.

– Serious injustice resulting from the relationship not being recognised.

– A party making substantial contributions and failing to recognise the relationship would be unjust.

It is important to note that each case is evaluated individually, and the court considers various factors in determining the existence of a de facto relationship.

Seeking legal advice is recommended to ascertain the specific circumstances of a particular relationship and its classification as de facto.

Can a de Facto Partner Claim for Property?

A de facto partner in Australia can claim property settlement during a breakup. The Family Law Act recognises the rights of de facto partners to seek a fair division of property, similar to married couples.

Several factors, including the welfare of any children are considered by the court when determining a property settlement.

What Can a de Facto Claim?

What am I entitled to in a de facto relationship? Individuals in a de facto relationship can claim property division, financial support (such as spousal maintenance), and parental responsibilities, similar to those in a marriage.

How Long Before a de Facto Can Claim?

A de facto partner can claim property settlement within two years from the date of separation. It is important to note that after these two years, the court requires special permission to proceed with a property claim.

How Many Months Living Together Is Common Law?

In Australia, common law (de facto) relationships are recognised after at least two years of living together.

This means that the couple must have been living together in a genuine domestic partnership for at least two years before the relationship is legally recognised as a de facto relationship under Australian law.

It’s important to note that there are exceptions to this two-year requirement based on specific circumstances. Such exceptions are mentioned above.

Helping Our Clients – Example Case of De Facto Relationship Breakup

 As a law firm, our team encountered Jake whose five-year de facto relationship had ended. He sought our assistance regarding de facto relationship break-up entitlements to ensure a fair resolution.

After understanding their situation, we explained the legal framework governing de facto relationships and rights under the Family Law Act in Australia.

When the negotiations were unsuccessful, we guided Jake through the court process.

Finally, we ensured that the court-ordered judgment, including property division, financial support, and other necessary arrangements, were adequately implemented.

Understanding de facto relationship breakup entitlements in Australia is crucial for individuals involved in such partnerships.

The legal recognition of de facto relationships ensures that individuals have rights and de facto relationship break up entitlements similar to marriage.

By familiarising themselves with the legal framework, property division principles, financial support options, and the importance of seeking legal advice, individuals can effectively navigate the separation process and protect their interests.

The founder of the firm, Silvio is a Family Law Specialist Accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria, Accredited FindLaw Feature Writer in Family Law and is a Founding Member of the Collaborative Law Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria.

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