De facto Relationships and Property Settlements : Getting the Legal Support


De Facto Relationship Property Settlements: Legal Guide

What is a de facto relationship?

The definition of a de facto relationship is outlined in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975.

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In today’s evolving societal norms, de facto relationships have become increasingly common. While these relationships mirror many aspects of traditional marriages, when it comes to legal matters, especially property settlements, they present unique challenges. This article delves into the intricacies of property settlements within de facto relationships and offers insights to navigate this complex terrain.



Understanding De facto Relationships

First and foremost, it’s essential to define what constitutes a de facto relationship. At its core, a de facto relationship is a union between two individuals who cohabit on a genuine domestic basis but aren’t legally married. Such relationships, while not bound by marital vows, are still subject to specific legal considerations, especially when they end.

The 2-Year Window

One of the most pressing concerns for de facto couples is the time-sensitive nature of property settlements. The Family Law Act 1975 mandates that any property settlement proceedings for de facto relationships must commence within two years from the date of separation. This timeframe is non-negotiable, emphasizing the need for prompt action.


Property settlements in Australia

Beyond the Property Title

A common misconception is that if one’s name isn’t on the title of a property, they have no claim to it. However, even if you’re not listed on the title, the property is still considered part of the settlement pool. To safeguard interests, lodging a caveat can be a strategic move.

Superannuation: A Key Asset 

Many are unaware that superannuation monies fall under the category of property as per the Family Law Act 1975. This means that during property settlements, superannuation interests can be split, necessitating expert legal guidance to ensure a fair division.

The Court’s Role 

While settling out of court is often more cost-effective and less stressful, if matters escalate, the court can intervene. It’s crucial to remember that full disclosure of all relevant information is mandatory in such scenarios. The court process involves multiple steps, from applications to hearings, and possibly mediation.

Navigating property settlements in de facto relationships can be intricate. However, with the right knowledge and expert legal advice, one can ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive a fair settlement. If you find yourself in such a situation, seeking guidance from experienced family lawyers, like Mendis & Gibson Lawyers, can make all the difference.


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