De Facto Relationship legal services
Lawyers who regularly practise in the area of family law acknowledge that close personal relationships don’t just involve married couples. In today’s society, families take many forms, and can be founded on relationships between married, non married, de facto, and same sex couplings.
It is critical to be properly informed about the legal implications of any non married close personal relationship in which you may be involved.
In the past, what constitutes a de facto relationship, and the legal implications which arose as a result of being involved in a de facto relationship, were widely defined and varied between states and territories. However, most definitions include that a de facto relationship is a relationship between:
- two adults (over the age of 18 years);
- who are not legally married to each other; and
- are not related by family; and
- having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
The law that currently applies to de facto relationships has largely rectified these past inconsistences in the law. Under the current law, certain persons leaving an unsuccessful de facto relationship can persue property settlements in much the same way as married couples who have separated, relying on the same law and using the same court systems (excluding Western Australia). This includes same sex de facto couples.
Current law does allow de facto couples to reach agreement about property and financial issues upon relationship breakdown, and our Accredited Specialists can advise upon options for recording agreements in legally binding documents.
For those who wish to keep control of their assets when entering into a de facto relationship, binding agreements can also be prepared either at the commencement of the relationship, or during the relationship (but before separation), which stipulate what is to occur if the relationship breaks down. These agreements are similar to “Pre-Nup” agreements, and are available to heterosexual and same sex de facto partners.
The legal implications of de facto relationships, including those involving children, can be significant and at times quite unexpected. For more information and legal advice, visit our list of de facto relationships FAQs or contact us to make an appointment to discuss your situation.
If you’d like to learn more extensive information about De Facto relationships or other areas of Family Law, please follow the link to our Client Resources page.