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De facto separations aren’t always easy

In fact, they can often be just as (if not even even more) complex than divorce cases.

When a de facto relationship ends, both parties may have to divide their assets between them and make financial concessions to each other, just as with cases of divorce.

The difference is that unlike marriages, these arrangements and rights often aren’t formalised in de facto relationships.

This can lead to even greater uncertainty when the relationship comes to an end.

Bring clarity to your case and move onto the next phase of your life without stress. The right legal advice ensures you make the right calls, and eases your return to single life.

De facto separation FAQs

Divorce is challenging, but at least you know where you stand when it comes to your assets and legal rights. Many de facto relationships aren’t that clear cut.

We understand the need for clarity in these situations. If you’ve experienced a breakdown in your de facto relationship, it’s important to seek out advice as soon as possible.

A de facto relationship is a relationship that exists between two people who are not married, but are living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.

There are a number of factors that relate to whether persons have a relationship as a couple including:

  • The duration of the relationship
  • The nature and extent of their common residence
  • Whether a sexual relationship exists
  • The degree of financial dependence between the couple
  • The public aspects of the relationship
  • The care and support of children

Whilst there are some differences in how the law handles financial matters of de facto couples, parenting matters are treated in the same manner as a married couple.

As with divorce cases, the focus in a de facto separation is on what’s best for your children. Parenting orders and arrangements will be made based on child welfare, ensuring that your children are protected during an incredibly stressful and disruptive time.

Yes, you are able to make an application to the Courts for a property settlement. There are some limits that apply upon an application made by a de facto couple being that the relationship must have lasted at least 2 year, or if there is a child in the de facto relationship.

In some circumstances an application can be made even if it does not satisfy either of these requirements however we encourage you to obtain legal advice to ascertain the possibility of doing the same.

Yes there is a time limit that applies for claims for a property settlement for a de facto relationship. You will have a two year period following the date of separation to apply for a settlement.

This also applies to claims for spousal maintenance in de facto relationships. While there are ways to make a claim after this time period, these should not be relied upon.

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De facto separation advice you can actually understand

The lines in a de facto relationship can be blurry. As if it wasn’t confusing enough already, this advice is often blanketed in legal phrasing.

Jargon. Legal terminology. Confusing clauses.

Each of these can hinder your ability to separate on good terms, and can make it hard to understand what you’re entitled to, as well as the most equitable way to divide your combined assets.

Just because you aren’t officially married doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.

With the right legal advice and support, you’ll be able to start over again with minimal stress and financial strain. 

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