Without a certificate of marriage, de facto couples are also capable to secure their financial and property assets.
The current Family Law Act allows de facto couples (including same sex relationships) to reach agreement regarding property and financial issues when a relationship breaks down.
This applies in Queensland and most states in Australia (except for Western Australia and South Australia) although this may change in the future.
What determines a de facto relationship?
A de facto relationship is defined that the persons are:
- Not legally married to each other;
- Not related by family; and
- Having regard to all the circumstances of the relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
When a de facto relationship breaks down, each case is different and, it depends on the facts involving the particular relationship under scrutiny.
In our experience, the following factors are usually given greater weighting by the Court in determining whether or not a party is in a de facto relationship or not:-
- The extent to which the parties have shared a common residence and lived together;
- The extent to which the parties have held themselves out as a couple to friends, family and the general public;
- An exclusive intimate relationship; and
- Conducting joint bank accounts and buying property and other items jointly together.
If you are unsure whether you are in a de facto relationship, talk to our experienced family law solicitors to discuss your situation on 07 3220 1299.
Take action within 2 years after separation
The nature and duration of a de facto relationship can be important factors that impact upon financial property settlement.
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.
You should seek specific advice from a Family Law Specialist about the particular circumstances of your de facto relationship and get the right advice early. We can help you resolve your de facto matters quickly and efficiently in a cost effective manner.