Our Legal Services

Family Law

De Facto relationships

We understand the implications around de facto relationships and carefully advise you on everything from assets to property settlement.

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 couples.

It is critical to be properly informed about the legal implications of any non married close personal relationship in which you may be involved. We can advise those in de facto relationships in Sydney or anywhere else in Australia on their legal rights and responsibilities as a couple.

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 inconsistencies in the law. Under the current law, certain persons leaving an unsuccessful de facto relationship can pursue 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 lawyers 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 financial agreements can also be prepared either at the commencement of the relationship, or during the relationship or after separation, which stipulate what and how property is to be divided. 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, contact us to make an appointment with a family lawyer to discuss your situation.

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  • Phone:
    (02) 9283 5877
    Address:
    Level 15, The Chambers
    370 Pitt Street
    Sydney NSW 2000
    Fax:
    (02) 9283 5977

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    & Elizabeth Streets, Sydney

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    Address:
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    Parramatta NSW 2150
    Fax:
    (02) 9635 4588

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    Address:
    Suite 3.18 The Nexus Building
    Level 3, 4 Columbia Court
    Norwest NSW 2153
    Fax:
    (02) 9680 6855

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    Address:
    7/40 Marcus Clarke St
    Canberra ACT 2601
    Fax:
    (02) 6257 6350

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  • Phone:
    (02) 4365 4700
    Address:
    Erina Plaza Shop 5
    210 Central Coast Highway
    Erina NSW 2250
    Fax:
    (02) 4365 6555

  • Phone:
    (02) 9635 4266
    Address:
    Unit 1, Building 5
    49 Frenchs Forest Road
    Frenchs Forest NSW 2086

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