Questions about De Facto Relationships and Family Law Services?

Solicitors at Dowson Turco Lawyers in Sydney Can Help

De facto relationship laws in NSW cover division of property, maintenance, financial agreements, and the superannuation of individuals in these relationships. Under the Family Law Act, de facto couples have the same distribution of property rights as married couples. Same-sex couples enjoy inclusion in the definition of de facto couples in federal laws. Also, The Child Support (Assessment) Act applies to same-sex couples.

Who is in a de facto relationship?

Under the Family Law Act, you can apply for a de facto property settlement if any of the following applies:

  • You and your partner have been in a de facto relationship for at least two years
  • You and your partner have a child together
  • You have contributed significantly to the finances or property of your partner
  • You have registered your relationship under state or territory law
  • You have spent at least a third of your relationship in NSW or another state where the laws apply (currently includes all states and territories in Australia except Western Australia)

What is a de facto relationship?

If a dispute arises about whether a two people are in a de facto relationship, the court will make the decision based on several factors including:

  • How long the relationship has lasted
  • Your living arrangements
  • Whether a sexual relationship existed or exists
  • The arrangement of the finances
  • Whether you owned property together
  • How you purchased any property you owned jointly
  • Whether you registered your relationship under state or territory law
  • Whether you have children together
  • How your relationship was presented in public

The sexuality and genders of the partners is not a relevant consideration. In fact, the law states explicitly that a de facto relationship can exist between same-sex partners or opposite-sex partners. It also says that it is possible for two people to be in a de facto relationship even when one partner is married to another person at the time.

How does the court decide how property should be divided?

Under the Family Law Act, if a separated couple is unable to agree about how to divide their assets, they may apply to the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court for a property settlement. When deciding how to split your property equitably, the Family Court considers factors such as:

  • What you each owned before the relationship began
  • The net value of your assets
  • The contribution you each made during the relationship, such as wages, gifts, inheritances, or domestic tasks such as caring for children
  • Your future needs, such as childcare and earning capacities

Family Solicitors in Sydney at Dowson Turco Lawyers

Often, couples can reach an agreement on their own about property division without seeking the advice of family law lawyers in Sydney. However, even if you do reach an agreement – and especially if you don’t – it’s a smart move to obtain family law services in Sydney. There are complex considerations in many of these cases, including maintenance, children, and more. Under current legislation, most same-sex partners who adopt or have children will both have recognition as parents. DTL has Sydney family law lawyers who can help you sort these issues out and strive for a mutually agreeable and fair outcome. If you are dissolving a de facto relationship and need the services of our solicitors, contact DTL now.