Understanding Property Rights In De facto Relationships: A Simple Guide

December 1, 2022    Familylawyers
Understanding Property Rights In De facto Relationships: A Simple Guide

It is essential that you understand your entitlements and rights as part of your de facto relationship. De facto couples in Australia have acquired similar rights and obligations for the last few years as married couples.

This is why similar rules might apply for separation for the separated de facto lawyers. The same will also be applied in cases of divorce, and before you opt to hire a good de facto separation lawyer, read the guide below to learn more about your property rights in such a relationship.

What Is A De Facto Relationship?

Before you are able to understand your rights, you must be able to define your relationship as de facto. This can easily help you in any kind of property dispute that might arise. A court will take account of the following things:

  • How long have you and your partner been together
  • The ownership of your property
  • Your financial involvement
  • The nature of your common residence and the extent of it

Whether you have children and what is the nature of their care and support will also be considered.

What Is Meant By Genuine Domestic Basis?

One of the top essential features of a de facto relationship is that the Australian couple must live together on a genuine domestic basis. If your de facto relationship status gets into a dispute, a court will usually look at some of the circumstances of the relationship, including:

  • How long have both of you lived together
  • Whether both of you shared finances or if one partner was financially dependent on the other
  • Whether you share caring arrangements for the children
  • Whether both of you are committed to living life together
  • If you are sexually intimate
  • How other people see your relationship (for instance, if others think of you to be a couple or just housemates)

Before hiring a de facto property settlement lawyer, you must know that there may be some obvious signs, or a court might have to balance all the features of your relationship to come to a conclusion.

How Does Australian Law Apply To A De Facto Relationship?

Whether you have lived as a de facto couple on a genuine domestic basis does not indicate any rights arising under Australian family law. Your relationship must meet certain criteria for the rights to come into play.

Mostly, your legal rights as a de facto partner only turn out to be a problem when there is a relationship breakdown. During this time, you might need to work out on how to divide the property, make childcare arrangements and deal with other specific matters.

  • Children

If you and your former spouse or partner share a child, there is no given minimum time that you must have lived together for your relationship to be recognised. To have the child is enough to establish that you both have lived together on a genuine basis.

  • Property Division

You might want to make a claim on the property of the relationship or on the property of your ex-partner. To do this, you must have the following:

  1. Had a child together
  2. Lived together genuinely for at least two years

A court is also likely to consider other problems such as:

  1. Whether one of them had a noteworthy contribution to the relationship’s assets or finances
  2. Grave injustice if there is a significant financial disadvantage (for instance, if you or your partner/spouse gave up work to take care of your children)
  3. If your relationship is registered

Once you meet all these criteria, you will enjoy the same rights as married couples under the Australian family law to divide the property.

  • Migration Law

Before opting to hire a de facto relationship lawyer, you must know that if you or your de facto partner applies for a migration visa, you must show you’ve been in the relationship for a year. There might be some situations where the requirement may not apply.

For instance, the relationship needs to be registered, there must be a child of the relationship or the visa can also be offered based on other humanitarian grounds. You must keep these things in mind before applying for a visa.

What Are The Rights Of The De Facto Partners In Australia?

After your de facto relationship gets registered or meets the time requirements, you will have the same rights as married couples under Australian law. But sometimes, there can be issues in proving that the relationship existed. Married couples can have legal documents as proof of marriage but it will be hard for de facto partners to establish their relationship.

The problem will mostly arise when one party denies that there was ever a genuine domestic basis to their relationship. This is one of the important reasons why you must opt to register your de facto relationship.

The Time Limits And Applications Of De Facto Property Settlement

Under Australia’s Family Law Act, a party to a de facto relationship needs to bring an application for a property settlement within two years of the relationship ending. Outside of this period, you can only make the application with the help of court permission. Top lawyers when hired will ensure that you follow the proper process to get the result you desire.

It is best for you to acquire legal advice early from the top family lawyers to ensure that you follow the time limits. They can also provide you with much-needed advice if there are concerns you have other than the two-year period. The best and most qualified lawyers can help talk you through the process and your separation entitlements.

Contact Family Lawyers Perth WA

If your de facto relationship has to come to an end, you must be aware of all your rights under Australian law. You can hire top lawyers from Family Lawyers Perth, WA. They know how stressful life can be during the end of a relationship, and they can help provide you with proper advice and ensure that your rights are well protected during this period.

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