De facto relationship break up entitlements can be pretty similar to that of divorced couples.
This may sound shocking to some, but it is true. Many people in a de facto relationship are entirely unaware that de facto relationship rights can legally be very similar or even identical to divorced couples rights in similar circumstances.
However, it is crucial to understand that the end of every de facto relationship will not have the same break-up entitlements. Every relationship and situation will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Courts.
The purpose of this article is to discuss when and how de facto relationships break up entitlements legally arise concerning finances, property and even children.
When Do De Facto Relationship Break Up Entitlements Arise?
To pursue a financial matter involving De facto relationship break up entitlements, you need to apply for orders within two years of the breakdown of the relationship.
If you are applying after two years has elapsed, you will need special permission to do so, which can be obtained if you have a sufficient reason for your late application.
For De-facto relationship break up entitlements to legally arise, the Court must be satisfied with the following:
Firstly – The de facto relationship was a genuine domestic relationship; and
Secondly – One of the following criteria are satisfied:
- The relationship lasted for a minimum of two years; or
- The relationship is registered under State or Territory legislation; or
- The couple has a child together; or
- Either party has made significant financial or non-financial contributions which would result in an injustice if unacknowledged.
What Assets & Property Are Considered By The Court?
A big part of de facto relationship break up entitlements is in relation to the mutual property and assets of the couple.
Below is a list of property and assets that the Courts commonly consider:
- Any real estate and homes;
- The personal property of both parties;
- Business assets;
- Shared bank accounts;
- Personal bank accounts;
- Any investments including bonds, shares and collectables;
- Private and shared vehicles; and
- Superannuation funds.
De Facto Relationship Break Up Entitlements Concerning Property
De facto relationship break up entitlements concerning property are slightly more limited as they typically require either:
- A couple living together on a genuine domestic basis for two years; or
- Having a child together
The Court will also have regard to other issues and circumstances in determining whether a property division is suitable.
These considerations include:
- If either party has made significant financial contributions to the property which would result in an injustice if unacknowledged; or
- Whether not acknowledging one parties rights to that property will leave them at a significant financial disadvantage.
De Facto Relationship Rights And Children
Children from de facto relationships are protected under the Family Law Act 1975 – similarly to children of married couples.
The usual minimum two-year period for a de facto relationship to be established does not apply to de facto relationships involving children. As such, despite the duration of your relationship, the Court’s will consider both de facto partners as responsible for all parental duties in relation to their children.
Like marriage, a significant de facto relationship break up entitlement where children are involved is child support. Regardless of whether or not you are married, if one party is primarily responsible for the care of a child or children, they are entitled to make a claim for child support from their former partner.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing de facto relationship break up entitlements, it is essential to remember that de facto relationship entitlements can be pretty similar to divorced couples, depending on your circumstances.
If you would like to discuss your particular situation, please do not hesitate to contact our team today. We are always happy to help with any questions you may have.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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