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DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS IN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - IMPORTANT FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

The division of property upon the breakdown of a Defacto relationship in Queensland is now governed by the Property Law Amendment Act 1999. The Act came into force on 21 December 1999 and therefore applies to all Defacto relationships ending after this date. The Act does not apply where the parties had separated prior to 21 December 1999.

A Defacto relationship is defined as two (2) people living together as a couple. That is, two (2) people living together on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship based on intimacy, trust and personal commitment to each other. It applies to couples of the same sex or opposite sex.

Upon the breakdown of a Defacto relationship the Court can make a property adjustment between the Defacto spouses, only if the Defacto spouses have lived together in a Defacto relationship for a least two (2) years or there is a child of the Defacto spouses who is under the age of 18 years; or a Defacto spouse has made substantial contributions and a failure to make an Order would result in a serious injustice to that Defacto spouse.

The Court can only make a property adjustment Order if an Application is made to Court within two (2) years after the day on which the Defacto relationship ended.

Defacto couples are able to enter into binding agreements dealing with the ownership of property both before, during and after their Defacto relationship (refer to Information Sheet Number 13 titled "De Facto Relationships in Queensland, Australia - Cohabitation Agreements"). This Information Sheet also details why you should consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement and who would potentially benefit most from such an agreement.

To find out how a Court determines a property adjustment Order between Defacto spouses, refer to Information Sheet Number 12 entitled "Defacto Relationships in Queensland, Australia - How a Court Decides Property Adjustment Orders".


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