De Facto Relationships

If you are in a “marriage like” relationship, then you may be in a “de facto” relationship. Identifying the legal processes when separation occurs in de facto relationships can sometimes be confusing.

When separating from a de facto partner, a common problem is how to divide the assets accumulated during the relationship. Kavanagh Lawyers can assist you in the event of a breakdown of your de facto relationship. We can also advise on steps to take before or during a de facto relationship to prevent future disputes in the event the relationship breaks down.

Changes to the Commonwealth Family Law Act and the WA Family Court Act in Western Australia has meant that couples in de facto relationships (including same sex couples) enjoy many of the rights and obligations of married couples- particularly in relation to children and property.

De facto law is generally more misunderstood by our clients and is more likely the subject of ‘urban myths’ than most areas of the Family Law system. Therefore, it is important that that you obtain the advice of a lawyer practising exclusively in the area of Family Law.

Separation and Division of Assets In De Facto Relationships

In order to start proceedings for property settlement, you must be able to show that:

  • you have been in a de facto relationship for at least two years; or
  • there is a child of the relationship under 18 years, and failure to make a property settlement order would cause a serious injustice to the person caring for the child

or:

  • the person applying for the order made substantial financial and/ or non-financial contributions to the relationship and failure to make a property settlement order would cause serious injustice to that person

and:

  • one or both of the parties to the application must be resident in Western Australia the day the application is made; or
  • both parties have to have resided in Western Australia for one third of their relationship, or made substantial contributions to property in this State.

Any application for property settlement has to be made no later than 2 years after the date of your separation.

De facto law is an area of law that is regularly subject to changes in Federal and State laws. Before you begin proceedings, you should seek advice of a lawyer practising exclusively in the area of Family Law.

Next Steps

  • Call Kavanagh Lawyers on (08) 9218 8422 to speak to one of our lawyers.

Visit Kavanagh Family Lawyers for legal advice on defacto relationships
Kavanagh Lawyers providing legal advice on defacto relationships