Aston Legal Group

Property Settlements for De Facto Couples

De Facto Relationships

Applying to have a Court resolve your De Facto Property Dispute

If your de facto relationship has broken down after 1 March 2009, you can apply to the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court to have your financial matters determined in the same way as if you were married to your former partner. However, before you can make an application to the Court, you must first satisfy the following four criteria:

  1. You were in a genuine de facto relationship with your former partner which has broken down.
  2. You meet one of the following four gateway criteria:
    • The period of the relationship is at least 2 years; or
    • There is a child of the de facto relationship; or
    • The relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory; or
    • At least one party has made significant contributions and the failure to issue an order would result in a serious injustice.
  3. You have a geographical connection to a participating jurisdiction.
  4. Your relationship broke down after 1 March 2009 (although you may be able to apply to the courts if your relationship broke down prior to the date applicable to your state).

Time Limit

You must apply for financial orders within two years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship. If two years has passed since separation, you will need the permission of the Court to bring an application.

The Next Step

If you would like to advice about a de facto relationship and would like to be informed regarding your options for finalising your financial matters (including options to settle out of Court), contact us on 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.

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