De Facto Relationships

Seeking legal advice for de facto relationship matters?

When a de facto relationship breaks down, seeking advice from a family law specialist is crucial to understanding your rights and obligations. Our Family Lawyers have a wealth of experience in helping our clients after a de facto relationship ends.

We can guide you through the family law journey, helping you make informed decisions regarding property matters, parenting arrangements, and financial security.

Expert Guidance

Benefit from our team's wealth of expertise in interpreting intricate legislation, ensuring you are equipped with the knowledge to make well-informed decisions for your future.

Supportive & Compassionate

Our family lawyers take a comprehensive approach to their work, acknowledging the emotional challenges involved and guiding you with compassion every step of the way.

Fair Negotiations

Embracing collaborative law and mediation where viable, we strive for amicable agreements that facilitate positive progress, avoiding court proceedings whenever possible.

De facto relationships and the Family Law Act

The Family Law Act extends its provisions to cover de facto relationships, ensuring that individuals have access to legal rights and protections similar to those of married couples.

A de facto relationship, as recognised under the Family Law Act, refers to a domestic partnership between two individuals who live together on a genuine domestic basis. Unlike married couples, de facto couples are not bound by a legal marriage but are still subject to certain rights and responsibilities under the Family Law Act.

Our family law services cater specifically to those navigating the intricacies of de facto relationship breakdown, offering expert guidance on property settlement, family disputes, parenting arrangements, Child Support, and spousal maintenance. We will ensure you obtain advice that is right for your situation and help you reach an agreement with your former partner regarding children’s arrangements and property settlement..

What is a genuine domestic basis?

A genuine domestic basis refers to a sincere and committed domestic partnership between individuals in a de facto relationship, characterised by shared living arrangements and a mutual commitment to a shared life. In other words, “living like a married couple”.

What is the 2-year rule for de facto relationships?

The 2-year rule in de facto relationships typically refers to the period of cohabitation required for a relationship to be legally recognised as de facto. After living together for two years, specific legal rights and obligations similar to a marriage may apply.

Does a de facto relationship override a will in Victoria?

In Victoria, a de facto relationship does not automatically override a Will. Individuals in de facto relationships should create a legally valid Will to ensure their wishes are followed upon their passing.

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Property settlement after a de facto relationship ends

Property settlement is one of the areas impacting on separating de facto couples. Our team will assist you in creating a property settlement that is fair and equitable. It is essential to seek legal advice before dividing assets and liabilities, especially if there are more complex factors, such as shared business interests, superannuation splitting, self-managed Super Funds, and Trusts to ensure a fair outcome for both parties.

De facto parenting arrangements

In de facto relationships, securing stable and fair parenting arrangements is paramount. Our dedicated team, led by Principal and Accredited Family Law Specialist St John Heath, provides specialist family law advice to ensure your children's best interests after a separation.

De facto child support

Navigating child support when a de facto relationship end can be complex, and it is essential to understand the choices available to you and your former partner. Child support can be negotiated through a private financial agreement or calculated by Services Australia.

Child support payments, payable by one party to the other, are determined based on the financial circumstances of both parents, and the level of care. You can rely on us to safeguard your child's financial wellbeing and address the factors unique to your family's needs.

De Facto Parenting Disputes

De facto couples with children may need to address parenting disputes, even after an agreement is reached.  Our Family Lawyers understand the intricacies of de facto relationships and can assist in reaching agreements, or parenting plans that prioritise your children's best interests.

Family dispute resolution is often encouraged in de facto relationship disputes before resorting to Court proceedings. However, attending court may be necessary if negotiation or mediation cannot reach an agreement. Family lawyers specialising in de facto relationships can represent individuals in court, presenting their case to ensure a fair and just resolution.

Financial agreements and spousal maintenance

Like married couples, de facto couples can enter into financial agreements outlining how their assets and liabilities will be divided in the event of a separation - known more commonly as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Spousal maintenance, which involves one party providing financial support to the other after separation, also applies to de facto couples under certain circumstances. Seeking advice on these matters is essential to ensure that agreements are fair and legally enforceable.

Family violence in de facto relationships

Family law services also play a vital role in addressing family violence within de facto relationships. If you are facing family violence, whether as a victim or the accused party, seeking legal assistance is crucial. We can assist you in pursuing a family violence order (Intervention Order),  Order through the Magistrates Court or the Family Court to ensure the safety and wellbeing of family members.

Need support negotiating arrangements after your de facto relationship has ended?

Please use our contact form to book an appointment with one of our highly experienced family lawyers today or call us directly on (03) 9435 9044. We'll ensure you have the best advice and support to resolve your matters and move forward with your life.

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