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

de facto relationship break up entitlements | Melbourne Family Lawyers

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.

Also read: I Bought a House With My Girlfriend in Australia and Now We Have Broken up

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.

What Happens to Property When a de Facto Relationship Breaks Down?

De facto couples, much like married ones, are entitled to property settlements under similar principles during separation.

It’s advisable for these couples to initially seek an amicable agreement on financial and property issues, as this approach is typically less complex than legal proceedings.

To aid in reaching an agreement, Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) systems offer valuable support, helping partners negotiate without court involvement.

These systems are a recommended first step, and consulting a professional family lawyer can provide essential guidance.

Regarding eligibility, de facto couples have a two-year period from the end of their relationship to file a property claim against their former partner.

Generally, a minimum cohabitation of two years is required, but exceptions exist, particularly if the couple has a child together, allowing for property settlement through the Family Court.

In cases where couples opt not to settle property matters legally, they can enter into a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA).

This agreement, which outlines the distribution of property and assets, requires that each party independently seek legal advice before finalisation.

Especially in areas like Sydney, seeking advice from a specialised family lawyer is highly recommended to ensure a fair and legally sound agreement.

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.

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.

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