Author

Alan Weiss

31st March, 2020

Alan Weiss developed aussiedivorce.com.au after he experienced himself how devastating divorce proceedings can be. I witnessed firsthand my own future security, and that of my familys, being destroyed by acrimonious and costly divorce litigation. I created aussiedivorce.com.au to help people avoid an experience like this and lose thousands of dollars. Instead the aussiedivorce.com.au system will assist them in getting on with their lives.

Partners who live together often misunderstand whether they can obtain a property order from a Family Law Court

If you and your partner have children together, the court will allow you to seek parenting orders, even if you never lived together. If you want a property order, however, you must satisfy the court that you are or were married or in a  de facto relationship.

Many people misunderstand Australian law as it relates to de facto relationships. To determine whether you are in a de facto relationship and entitled to the protection of Australian laws governing property division after a break up, it is best to seek legal advice from a lawyer who handles family law cases.

Length of Relationship

People often believe that if they have lived together for three or six months, they are in a de facto relationship. A court might not agree.

As a general rule, parties must live together for at least 2 years before a court will recognize a de facto relationship. However, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, if you and your partner were in a de facto relationship for less than two years and had a child together, a court will grant you the protection of Australian family law.

In some cases, even if were in a de facto relationship for less than 2 years and did not have a child together, a court will allow a family law case to proceed. Courts do that when one party has made a substantial contribution to the relationship and it would be unfair not to return some or all of the value of that party’s contribution after a breakup.

Other Factors

People often think that if they have shared a residence, they are in a de facto relationship. That isn’t necessarily true.

Under Australian law, living together is not enough to create a de facto relationship. The parties must live together in a genuine domestic relationship. To decide whether a genuine domestic relationship exists, a court will examine several factors, including:

  • How long the parties have lived together
  • Whether the parties have children together
  • Whether the parties have a sexual relationship
  • Whether the parties are sharing expenses
  • Whether the parties are sharing ownership of property
  • Whether the parties have made a commitment to sharing their lives
  • Whether the parties hold themselves out to the public as being in a committed relationship

No single factor determines whether individuals are in a de facto relationship. A court will examine all of the factors together to make a decision.

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