When a de facto or same sex relationship breaks down, the laws about dividing assets are similar to those that apply when a marriage breaks down.
Separating de facto and same sex couples can agree on how assets are divided and record that in an binding financial agreement or consent order. Unless properly documented, any agreement reached may not be binding.
De facto relationships (same sex or otherwise) and marriages are the same in relation to legal rights and entitlements pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975. However, one major difference in the law is that when dividing property, married couples have 12 months from the date of their divorce to apply to the court for property orders whereas de facto couples have 2 years from the date of their separation.
How the assets of the relationship are to be divided depends on your cicumstances and you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
Generally the longer the period of time between separation and finalisation the more complicated the settlement becomes.
Whilst it is sometime possible to extend the time limits applying in a particular case, acting quickly to resolve a dispute usually produces the best and most cost effective result.
Generally, the law takes into account the following:
- Assets and liabilities each of you brought into the relationship
- Contributions made by each of you during your relationship (both financial and non-financial)
- Care for a child, including a child of your relationship
- Circumstances during your relationship affecting the earning capacity of either of you
- Financial resources you each have (including superannuation).
"Changes in legislation for recognition of same-sex couples in South Australia" by Troy Roulstone (12/12/2016)
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