De Facto

In Australia, de facto or same sex couple couples who separate after 1 March 2009 will have their property and maintenance matters dealt with by the Family Law Act and the laws which apply are similar to that of married couples.

A de facto relationship is recognised under the Family Law Act as a relationship in which the couple (either same or opposite sex) are not married to each other and are in a relationship living together on a genuine domestic basis.

De Facto Property

A party to a de facto relationship can file an application seeking financial orders from the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia, where one of the following circumstances applies:

  • the de facto relationship has been for a period longer than two years;
  • there is a child of the relationship;  and or
  • contributions have been made to the relationship which would warrant the court intervening and altering the property interests of the parties.

De facto couples can also take use of superannuation splitting orders, that is, the transfer of superannuation interests of the parties, as part of a property settlement.

If in the alternative parties are able to come to an agreement as to their future financial arrangements, our lawyers are also able to assist in formalising the agreement into a legally binding document; either a Financial Agreement or by seeking a consent order which is made by the Family Court of Australia.

De Facto Children

De facto couples with children can, as a married couple would, seek orders in relation to the parental responsibility and care of their children in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia.

De Facto Property and Children

In de facto relationships applications for both parenting and property matters can be heard concurrently, as in a matrimonial case.

For more information on the options that also apply to a de facto relationship please see the below options:

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