De Facto Relationship Law
What is a de facto relationship?
A de facto relationship is defined in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975. The law requires that you and your former partner, who may be of the same or opposite sex, had a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. However, your relationship is not a de facto relationship if you were legally married to one another or if you are related by family.
For many, the thought that a de facto partner might receive anything from a separation is a shock!
Financial implications of de facto separation
In the event of separation, your claim for de facto property settlement or de facto spousal maintenance under the law may well be interpreted as if you had been married, but generally the relationship must have lasted for the duration of two years; alternatively there must be a child of the relationship or the Applicant must have made substantial contributions of to an extent sufficient to cause serious injustice if the case were not permitted. This applies to both heterosexual and same gender couples.
What this means is that debts and liabilities along with ownership of, and income from property, business interests, investments, savings, superannuation and more need to be examined and formal agreements reached about their division and distribution.
For most, this is a relief as it is unlikely for de facto separations to result in one party getting everything. In certain circumstances you may be liable to pay your estranged de facto spouse spousal maintenance.
How to contact us
Call us on 07 3849 8170 during business hours or complete the contact form and we will get back to you. Be assured that our call to you will be discrete; we will always check first that it is safe for you to talk and will not email or SMS you without prior permission.
The other factor to consider involves children born of the de facto union. Parenting and custody is neither automatic nor sole. Unless an agreement is amicably reached, the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court will be involved in the parenting decision, and their decision is binding.
The Court’s decision will principally be based on the question of what is in the best interests of the children; however the legal criteria for determining what is in the best interests of the children and how much time a child could be ordered to spend with each parent are numerous and complex.
Why you need a lawyer
It is not in your interests to have a Court make the division decision for you. Letting negotiations break down so badly that Court appearances are necessary is both lengthy and expensive. You both lose as you will both have to contribute to the costs from the asset pool.
When you engage us to represent you, the emotion is taken out of the discussions. We listen to your story, make appropriate recommendations and present your case to the other party (or their lawyer). When an agreement is reached, we facilitate transfer of funds as and when they are available.
Strict time limits apply to your defacto property settlement claim, so you need proper legal advice from your solicitor immediately so your rights to your fair share of the family property pool will not be prejudiced.
What if there’s violence involved?
If you and, or your children are victims of violence, or feel the threat of violence, we can arrange for protection orders to be raised, and can even arrange for temporary safe accommodation.
In any event, and to resolve these issues without going to court, you need legal representation. Here at Peter G Williams & Associates, that assistance can be from either a male or female lawyer. Tell us your preference when you call 07 3849 8170 and to arrange an appointment to see one of our friendly solicitors. The first 15 minutes of your consultation with us is free if you mention this offer at the beginning of your meeting with us.