De Facto Relationships
If you and your partner are living in a de facto relationship (including a same sex relationship) and separated on or after 1 March 2009, then matters relating to property settlement and maintenance are now governed by the provisions of the Family Law Act.
This applies in Queensland and most states in Australia (except for Western Australia and South Australia) although this may change in the future.
The definition of a de facto relationship is that the persons are not legally married to each other and not related by family. Having regard to all the circumstances of the relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
The Family Law Act
now covers both same sex and opposite sex relationship disputes in relation to maintenance and property.
An application can be filed for property settlement by a de facto spouse against the other de facto spouse if the parties have been living in a de facto relationship for a period of more than two years and or whether there is a child of the relationship and/or where a party has made substantial contributions to the other one’s property.
Therefore, if you have been in a de facto relationship (same sex or opposite sex) and the relationship is more than two years or there is a child of the relationship, then the laws of property settlement under the Family Law Act
that apply for married couples will also apply to your de facto relationship breakdown.
In that regard, we refer you to Information Sheets on property settlement, Binding Financial Agreements/Pre-nuptial agreements and spousal maintenance.
In a de facto relationship, it is important to remember that after separation, you only have two years to apply to court for financial relief. Therefore, if you have separated you should be aware that you need to finalize your financial arrangements by filing a consent order or file an Initiating Application within that two year period after separation. Disclaimer
Our website does not give legal advice.
The information on this website, together with the information sheets, is produced by Hartley Healy Lawyers. It provides general information only on relevant topics of interest in relation to Family Law current at the time it is produced. No reliance should be placed on such general information as contained on this site and in the information sheets and legal advice should be sought about the particular circumstances of your particular case.