In a De Facto Relationship? These Are Your Entitlements and Rights

If you’ve been living with your partner for two years or more and aren’t legally married, then you are categorised under the Family Law Act 1975 as being in a de facto relationship. But if this relationship has broken down, what exactly are your rights and entitlements when it comes to property, other assets and children? Here’s what you need to know.

In a De Facto Relationship, Are Entitlements the Same as They Are For Married Couples?

Generally, the same laws apply to those ending a de facto relationship as to a married couple divorcing. The Family Law Act 1975 contains the same provisions for de facto couples as married couples in relation to the division of assets and property, money, superannuation and debt, as well as spousal maintenance, and any issues relating to children custody and maintenance.


Is There Any Difference to the Entitlements for Same Sex De Facto Couples?

The Family Law Act 1975 does not discriminate when it comes to a same sex relationship vs a heterosexual relationship in terms of your entitlements and rights. In the event of a divorce, this includes the division of assets and the custody arrangements of any shared children.


Are Your Rights the Same Even if You Haven’t Been Living Together with Your De Facto Partner for Two Years?

There are certain considerations that may affect whether your relationship is legally classified as de facto, as well as how the court will define your entitlements. If, for example, you have a child together but have been living together for less than two years, then you may be able to apply for a partial claim on the property. In some circumstances, couples that don’t live together full time but still share their finances can still be eligible to claim de facto status. Another consideration is whether one partner made a substantial contribution (financial or otherwise) to the relationship or assets.


What is Your Best Course of Action?

To protect your de facto relationship entitlements and rights if your relationship has broken down, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances. Pullos Lawyers can help with separation, custody of children, queries around same sex relationship law and much more. To find out where you stand, contact us.