THE UNROMANTIC SIDE OF A RELATIONSHIP!!!
Consider these scenario’s, you purchased a home 5 years ago, you commence a relationship 3 years ago , you decide to live together, the relationship does not work out after 6 months, do you think you ex-partner can make a claim on your home?
The answer is, quite possible and highly likely he or she will make a claim against your home.
All defacto couples have the same rights as married couple under the Family Law Act in relation to the distribution of property. Same sex relationships are included within the definition of de facto couple in federal laws. The Child Support (Assessment) Act also applies to same sex couples.
Who do the laws about defacto relationships apply to?
You can make an application for a de facto property settlement under the Family Law Act provisions if any one or more of the following apply;
- Your defacto relationship with your partner lasted for at least two years in total;
- You have a child with your de facto partner
- You have made a substantial contribution to the property or finances of your partner;
- The relationship was registered under a State or Territory law; and
- You lived for at least one-third of your relationship in NSW or another state to whee the laws apply.
What is the definition of a de facto relationship?
If there is a dispute whether two people were in a defacto relationship, the Court will look at;
- The length of the relationship;
- The living arrangements;
- Whether there is or was a sexual relationship;
- The way finances were arranged;
- Whether you owned property together and how you bought it;
- Whether your relationship was registered under state or territory law;
- Whether you had both cared for children together ; and
- The way you presented your relationship in public.
When can I apply?
You must apply to the Family Court in relation to property and maintenance issues within two years of your relationship ending. Applications in relation to children can be made at any time.
How will the courts decide how our property should be divided should the matter not be able to be settled and proceeds to court?
- What each of you owned before the relationship. How relevant this is will depend on both the length of the relationship and the contributions each person made to the upkeep and improvement of any assets brought into the relationship.
- The net value of your current assets.
- Direct financial and indirect financial contributions, such as inheritance.
- Non-Financial contributions.
- Your future needs such as your earning capacities, needs of children and other financial resources available to you.
Can I make an agreement with my partner?
There are 2 ways to make an agreement after separation by way of consent orders which is filed in the Family court or a binding financial agreement which much be signed off by independent lawyers and provided legal advice for the agreement to be binding.
The safest way to protect your assets including your superannuation is before your decide to move in with someone you should consider PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT OR DOMESTIC FINANCIAL AGREEMENT.