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De Facto Relationships

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De Facto Separation Property Settlement

Get advice from an expert family lawyer

Understanding your position and legal rights within a de facto relationship can pose challenges. If you suspect you’re in such a relationship, seeking guidance from an experienced family lawyer is crucial. They’ll provide accurate insights into the legal status of your situation. Obtaining the correct advice is vital, and Point Cook Family Lawyers possess substantial expertise in handling cases concerning the determination of de facto relationships and the associated entitlements.

If you are thinking about separation, it can help to get the right advice early on. It is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer before separation so that you can understand what to expect during the process and make informed decisions about your children and assets. As well as providing legal advice about your rights and obligations, our lawyers at Point Cook Family Lawyers can also refer you to separation counselling or mediation services for further emotional support during separation. Our family lawyers can quickly arrange a conference (either by telephone, zoom or face to face) to begin discussing the steps that you need to take to resolve the issues regarding parenting arrangements.


You are entitled to understand your legal rights and obligations. We shall lead you through the entire process, making certain that we not only cover all possible results but also provide guidance pertinent to your individual situation. Count on our skilled family lawyers at Point Cook Family Lawyers for various legal services. We deliver reliable counsel and effective remedies tailored to your requirements, whether you are handling straightforward or intricate cases. We possess proficiency in all aspects of family law and have assisted numerous clients in settling their concerns.

To get help resolving your matter, call us on 8391 8411 or complete our contact form for an obligation free discussion.


Property and Financial Settlements

What is a de facto relationship?

Couples often make the assumption that mere cohabitation for a specific duration automatically constitutes a de facto relationship. However, this assumption isn’t always accurate. Several factors beyond cohabitation duration play a role in determining the existence of a de facto relationship between you and your partner. Key factors include the nature and extent of cohabitation, the presence of a sexual relationship, shared financial matters, joint property ownership, childcare responsibilities, and the level of commitment to each other and shared life experiences. Understanding your de facto status is crucial as it can impact your property rights and responsibilities in the event of a future separation from your partner.

If you are unsure about whether you are in a de facto relationship, our lawyers at Point Cook Family Lawyers can help you figure out the answer and advise you on the best way to protect your assets in case of separation.

What rights do I have?

If you and your former partner shared a bona fide de facto relationship, you possess the entitlement to petition the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court for a property arrangement (which might encompass a superannuation division order) within two years following the separation date. In the event of financial hardship, you might also qualify to request spousal support from your former de facto partner.

Conversely, we can assist you to draft a Binding Financial Agreement either before, during, or after your de facto relationship in order to protect your assets in the event of separation.

What is the time limit to resolve my matter?

There is no time limit for a separated de facto couple to resolve their property matters outside of court through negotiation or mediation. If it becomes necessary to commence proceedings for a property settlement in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court, however, separated de facto couples have two years from the date of their separation to commence such proceedings, save for exceptional circumstances where the time limits may be extended. At Point Cook Family Lawyers, our team is here to help you find solutions for your property matters with your former de facto partner through negotiation or mediation, even after you’ve separated. If required, we can also support you in initiating Court proceedings and seeking permission for cases that go beyond the usual two-year time limit in exceptional situations.

Can I resolve my de facto matters at Court?

While it is more efficient and cost-effective for de facto partners to resolve their property and parenting matters outside of court once they have separated, de facto matters can be resolved at the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court where necessary. Separated de facto partners who aim to initiate Court proceedings for a property settlement must do so within a two-year window following their separation, unless exceptional circumstances warrant an extension granted by the Court. There are no time constraints for commencing court proceedings concerning parenting issues, as long as there is a child under 18 years old involved. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep in mind that, before starting court proceedings for parenting matters, both you and your former partner must genuinely attempt to resolve the matter through Family Dispute Resolution, except in cases of extraordinary circumstances such as family violence. If you and your former de facto partner have been unable to resolve your parenting or property issues privately or through negotiation or mediation, our team at Point Cook Family Lawyers can provide guidance on commencing court proceedings.

Prenuptial agreements for de facto relationships?

In Australia, de facto partners have the option to create a ‘Binding Financial Agreement’ (BFA) before, during, or after their relationship. A BFA typically outlines the division of assets and may address spousal maintenance in case of separation. A valid BFA can prevent either partner from pursuing court proceedings for property settlement. It’s essential to note that both parties must seek independent legal advice before signing a BFA at any stage of the relationship. Point Cook Family Lawyers can assist you in drafting a BFA or providing guidance on one prepared by your partner’s lawyer, ensuring your financial interests are protected in case of separation.


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