Was I In A De Facto Relationship? Am I Entitled To A Property Settlement?

Family Law

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DATE PUBLISHED: March 5, 2020

Are you unsure if you were in a de facto relationship?

If your relationship was de facto in nature you might be entitled to a property settlement.

Read on to find out more!

WORK OUT IF IT IS A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP

Read our  factsheet to determine whether or not you and you ex-partner were in a de facto relationship.

WAS I IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP?

For family law purposes you will be considered to be in a de facto relationship with your partner if: 

  1. You are not married to that person; and
  1. You are not related by family; and
  1. Having regard to all the circumstances of your relationship you have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.

There are a number of “circumstances” that are considered when determining whether a relationship exists which are set out in our downloadable factsheet

Whether or not a de facto relationship exists will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. The Family Law team at McInnes Wilson Lawyers can advise you whether or not you were in a de facto relationship and let you know what your rights are.

I WAS IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP, WHAT NOW?

If you were in a de facto relationship you may be entitled to a share of your ex’s property or to receive financial support (known as maintenance) if:

  1. Your de facto relationship lasted at least two years; or
  1. There is a child of the relationship; or
  1. You or your ex made substantial contributions to the relationship and a failure of the Court to issue an Order would result in a serious injustice to that party; or
  1. Your de facto relationship is or was registered under law.

Some of these factors are harder to prove than others. We have seen people argue about the length of the relationship (saying it was less than 2 years) or disputing what significant contributions were made. Some factors are easier to prove, such as having a child together.

It is important that you satisfy at least one of the above factors otherwise your Application may be dismissed by the Court. You should obtain family law advice before you consider filing an Application.

DO NOT RUN OUT OF TIME TO GET YOUR FAIR SHARE:

There are time limits to file an Application in the Court. You have two years from the date of separation to apply for property Orders or for maintenance. There are circumstances where the Court will allow you to file out of time but it is very risky to wait.

You should file sooner rather than later. You don’t want to risk your ex arguing that the relationship ended earlier than you considered it did. If that happens you could spend time and money arguing about whether you have the right to make a claim instead of what your claim is worth.

WE CAN HELP:

McInnes Wilson Lawyers is here to assist you throughout every stage of the process. We can help you get your fair share. Contact us today for an obligation free chat to discuss your options.

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