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What is the Difference Between a De Facto Relationship and Marriage?

Continuing on from the first part of this article; What Is the Difference Between a De Facto Relationship and Marriage in the Eyes of the Law? For individuals who are considering entering into a de facto relationship by moving in together, or who have moved in together, it is important to understand the implications of such an arrangement.

It is worthwhile to discuss matters with your partner and often to consider a more formal Binding Financial Agreement (or “pre-nup”) which is available to de facto couples as well as married couples and provides greater certainty when it comes to the division of assets in the event of a relationship breakdown. One of our Accredited Family Law specialists can assist you in deciding whether a Financial Agreement is right for you.

What Am I Entitled to If My De Facto Relationship Breaks Down?

If your de facto relationship comes to an end, you have up to two years to apply for financial orders (property settlement). If you seek to apply after this two year period, you will need to first obtain the Court’s permission.

You should seek advice from an experienced lawyer as to your particular entitlements in the circumstances of your relationship as all relationships are different and there is no prescribed formula to determine the appropriate outcome. Learn more about de facto property settlement or contact us to discuss your own situation.

You will generally have access to the same legal systems as a legally married couple and can apply for various types of court orders including parenting, child support, maintenance and the division of assets, including superannuation. As with separating married couples, de facto couples can come to an agreement outside of the court system through alternative dispute resolution. Dispute resolution involves using skilled mediators, arbitrators and/or collaborative lawyers who can resolve your family law dispute without involving the court system and, as a result, provide a faster, less expensive and less acrimonious path to a successful outcome. Click on the above link to find out how you can work with one of our skilled lawyers to avoid spending time and money in the courts.

What is the Difference Between a De Facto Relationship and Marriage in Australia?

To summarise, the law requires that two people, who may be of the same or opposite sex, have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. If you would like to determine whether your current relationship meets the criteria to apply for a de-facto visa with your partner, please contact one of our experienced lawyers here.