De-facto Relationships

De-facto Relationships

Understanding De Facto Relationships

Since 2009 the rights of married couples and those in de facto relationships have been almost identical. That means if you are a couple living in a genuine domestic relationship – and you are not related by family or marriage – you can receive the same assistance in cases of separation.

With more than 30 years of family law expertise, we can ensure that you understand your rights, and can assist you if you are separating.

What is a De Facto Relationship Under the Law?
A de facto relationship can exist for both same sex relationships and those between a man and a woman. They can also include relationships where one of the parties is married to another person, or in a second de facto relationship.

In defining a ‘genuine domestic relationship’ the court will look at a range of different factors. These include:

• The length of your relationship
• The nature of the relationship
• The financial involvement of each partner
• The ownership (or co-ownership) of property
• The parenting responsibilities of each partner (if parents are involved)
• Whether or not the relationship in registered under the law

If you are deemed to be in a de facto relationship, both financial responsibilities and disputes over children or property are treated in the same way as for married couples.

De Facto Relationship Experts
At Bartels Lawyers, we are family law experts, and have been providing clear and helpful advice and services for more than 30 years. If you are part of a de facto relationship and are going through separation, we can assist you with property disputes, children’s matters and more.

Start with a Free Consultation
Whether you’re simply looking for advice or you are looking to take action, everyone can trust in Bartels Lawyers. A free initial consultation can provide clarity about your de facto relationship, and moving forward we can provide practical advice and tailored solutions.

Want to Learn More?
You can learn more about parenting or financial matters for de facto separation by contacting our team, or you can view some of the answers below.

Do I need to register my relationship?

No. The courts can determine the status of your relationship measuring a range of other factors. You can choose to register your relationship and receive a certificate though. This can be for commitment reasons and may also assist with establishing your de facto status.

When will I need legal advice?

If you have been part of a de facto relationship, you can get legal advice simply to seek clarity. You may also need advice when:

• You experience property disputes during separation
• You want to leave property to your partner in your will
• You want to apply for domestic violence protection orders
• You are experiencing discrimination

Why do de facto relationships even exist?

It is important to define these relationships, as couples that are not married often share the same financial and parenting responsibilities – and therefore rights – of their married counterparts.

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