At Gowland Legal, we have seen numerous social media posts from people who are separating from their de facto partners. And, based on the comments, there seems to be rather a lot of confusion out there about de facto relationships and family law.
The kinds of comments we have seen include incorrect statements such as ‘unfortunately, you aren’t able to claim anything because you weren’t married’ and even illogical mathematical equations, e.g., ‘6 months means you can have 1/8 of the property plus whatever is in your name’. Such comments make us realise that there must be many people out there who are unsure about their legal position regarding their de facto relationship.
According to section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975, a person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:
They are not legally married to each other; and
They are not related; and
They have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
Now, here are a few de facto myths we want to bust:
If you are confused about your relationship’s status under the law, it is best to seek legal advice. There are many factors that might point to you being in a de facto relationship.
In the matter of Allenby v Kimble, the parties lived together on and off throughout their relationship, one party was seeing someone else at the time and both parties signed documents to say they weren’t in a de facto relationship – however, the Court still ruled that they were in a de facto relationship!
This post is intended as a general guide to the law. You should seek legal advice for your specific facts.
At Gowland Legal we have a wealth of experience in Family Law matters. Give us a call on 1300 693 000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you require advice.
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