De Facto Relationship in Australia
The De Facto Relationship in Australia Financial Matters and Other Measures Act came into effect on 1 March 2009.
Prior to that, the rights of de facto relationship in Australian parties were governed by State legislation. The introduction of the new legislation to the Family Court, which is federal legislation, gave extra powers to the powers that de facto couples had under the State legislation.
To bring an application in the Family Court, either party must be an Australian citizen, ordinarily resident in Australia, or present in Australia on the day the application is filed. If the parties do not fall within these definitions, then the Family Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.
If there was a breakdown of the de facto relationship in Australia prior to the introduction of the federal legislation, then those matters are still dealt with under the state jurisdiction.
There are no definite criteria for establishing a de facto relationship in Australia. The court can take into account any matters that it considers relevant to the determination.
The legislation does provide some guidelines and factors which the court can take into consideration, but this is not a complete guideline to establish de facto couples. The factors which can be taken into account are:
- the duration of the relationship;
- the nature and extent of the common residence of the parties;
- whether or not there was a sexual relationship;
- the degree of financial independence and any arrangements for support between the parties;
- the ownership, use, and acquisition of property, and the care and support of children.
There are other guidelines set out in the legislation.
Pursuant to the legislation, the de facto relationship in Australia must be for a two-year period. After separation, the parties have two years in which to bring an application before the Court. If not brought within such time, then the parties must seek the leave of the Court to institute proceedings.
The right given to the parties under the new legislation is in most respects the same as those rights that married couples have under the Family Law Act. The legislation deals with the property issues and financial issues of the parties as well as children’s issues.
The court when considering financial issues must take into account:
- The financial contribution of the parties to the acquisition, conservation, or improvement to the property owned by the parties;
- The contribution made by the parties to the relationship to the welfare of the family, which takes into account the homemaking and parenting roles.
The Court also takes into account the health of the parties, the income, property and financial resources of the parties, the care, and control of children, the commitments for a party to support himself or herself or a child or another person, and generally takes into consideration the standard of living that in all the circumstances is reasonable.
This does not limit the considerations the Court can give and the Court does take into consideration other matters listed in the legislation.
Superannuation, as with married couples, can now be dealt with in the Family Court.
TALK TO A NOBLE FAMILY LAWYER1800 662 535
Family Mediation is a voluntary process. It can also be ordered by the Family Court...READ MORE
Binding Child Support Agreement, Assessment & Laws | James Noble Law Child Support Agreement: Child...READ MORE
SURROGACY LAWS AUSTRALIA
Surrogacy Laws Australia: The Surrogacy Act QLD 2010 became operative on 1 June 2010. This...READ MORE
GRANDPARENTS EXTENDED FAMILY
Extended Families in Australia: Relevant persons in the lives of the children of a relationship...READ MORE
DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP
De Facto Relationship in Australia The De Facto Relationship in Australia Financial Matters and Other...READ MORE
SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
Separation and divorce can be very difficult and onerous times in both parties’ lives. Typically,...READ MORE
DIVORCE PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS
Divorce Property Settlements, De facto Property Settlement, or Same-Sex Couple Property Settlement Divorce Property Settlements...READ MORE
SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE Spousal maintenance is often confused or likened to Child Support, however, these concepts...READ MORE
SHORT FORM ARBITRATION
Short Form Arbitration or in other words engaging a very experienced Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer to...READ MORE
SAME SEX COUPLES
In the past, a same-sex couple’s relationship was not recognised in the eyes of Australian...READ MORE