De Facto Relationships

De facto relationships

 

The definition of a de facto relationship is in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975. The law necessitates that an individual and their former partner, whether of the same or opposite gender, were in a relationship as a couple living under the same roof on a genuine domestic basis. But the relationship is not defined as a de facto one if the couple was married, or if there is a family relation.

 

Can I make an application to have my de facto dispute resolved if the matter is related to my children?

Yes. Both the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court attend to issues concerning the children of de facto relationships, just as they would for issues surrounding the children of married couples.

 

Can I make an application to have my de facto financial dispute resolved?

Yes. As of 1 March 2009, parties to an eligible de facto relationship that has come to an end can make an application to either the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court. The financial matters would be determined exactly the same as they would be for married couples.

An application for de facto financial orders must be made within two years of the end of the relationship. One would require the Court’s permission to apply later than this time.

Prior to the Court determining a financial dispute, one must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The individual was in a proper de facto relationship with their former partner which has come to an end.
  2. The individual has to meet one of the four following gateway criteria:

●     That the duration of the de facto relationship is a minimum of 2 years.

●     That a child is present in the de facto relationship.

●     That the relationship is currently, or formerly registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory.

●     When reviewing property or custodial claims in the breakdown of the relationship, it is accepted that major contributions were being made by one party and if an order were not issued, it would be a major injustice.

  1. The individual has a geographical connection to a jurisdiction that is participating.
  2. That the relationship ended after March 1, 2009, however one might be allowed to make an application to the courts. That’s if the relationship ended before the date applicable in NSW.

Any individual should seek legal advice over whether their circumstances meet the criteria prior to submitting an application.

How do I apply to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court?

Any individual should seek legal advice over whether their circumstances meet the criteria prior to submitting an application.

The application is submitted with the same forms used by those in a marriage, and the case will be assessed using the same procedures that are applied to married couples.

If you require legal assistance with de facto relationships, contact Wilding & Co Lawyers, based in Balmain and the Sydney CBD.