Withstand Lawyers is a leading family law firm in Sydney. Our team of family lawyers will help you sort out issues arising from divorce, the end of a de facto relationship, as well as the relocation of children. Withstand Lawyers use only the best approaches in family law representation.

Persons of the opposite or same sex can form a de facto relationship. A person is said to be in a de facto relationship with another if the following elements concur:

  • the persons are not legally married to each other,
  • they are not otherwise related by family, and
  • they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.

Other circumstances that will determine the existence of a de facto relationship are

  • the duration of their relationship,
  • their common residence,
  • their sexual relationship,
  • their financial interdependence,
  • the care and support of children, and
  • public reputation

Generally, a court will declare a relationship de facto if with the help of a family lawyer it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that

  • The relationship has a duration of at least two (2) years
  • There is a child (or children) in the de facto relationship
  • Serious Injustice to the applicant will result if a declaration or order is not made

When proper the Court may issue orders that it deems appropriate for the maintenance of a party in the relationship, a declaration of a property interest and for the alteration of interests in property.

Proceedings must be commenced within the standard application period, which is defined as two (2) years from the date of separation. Leave may be granted for a party to apply after the end of the standard application period, if hardship is established.

The Law on De Facto Marriages

In the case of a de facto marriage, parties thereto are allowed under the Family Law Act the following

  • Parties can access provisions on superannuation splitting embodied in the FL Act
  • Spouse maintenance and property adjustment orders may now be sought by the parties
  • arties can always choose to forge a binding financial agreement either before, during or after a break-up

Other Considerations in De Facto Relationships

According to the Family Law Act, a de facto relationship can exist between two people of different sexes or of the same sex, but this finding is not automatic. It must be proven by the parties that the tests that the court considers to declare the existence of a “relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis” are present, such as the duration of the de facto arrangement, the “ownership, use and acquisition of property”, among others.

Finally, a court will not hesitate to declare existence of a de facto relationship when any or more of the following are satisfactorily shown to the court to be present

  • The parties are in a relationship for at least two (2) years
  • A child or children was/were born of the relationship
  • The registration of the relationship under the prescribed legislation of a territory or state
  • Serious Injustice to the applicant will result if a declaration or order is not made (when substantial contributions were made by said applicant)

As for contests in property adjustments orders in a de facto marriage, the application must be made within two (2) years after the parties separate. But the court at its discretion can grant an extension of time for a party to file, but only in certain situations.

Withstand Lawyers, with its team of family lawyers will help you sort out issues arising from your de facto marriage or relationship. Whether in Sydney CBD or elsewhere in NSW, our law firm with our team of family law experts will also answer your questions on spousal maintenance and other financial matters.

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