A few years ago the Family Law Act was amended to include provisions for the division of assets in de facto relationships. In some cases, de facto relationships are easily identified, however unlike a marriage which is almost always undisputed, de facto relationships sometimes require effort first in proving the existence of that relationship. If there is no de facto relationship (or marriage for that matter) then the Court cannot make an Order for property settlement.
The reason de facto relationships are more complicated to prove is because there is not just one issue to prove, but instead the Family Law Act provides a number of considerations a Court must look at in determining the question, and specifically no one feature is more important than the others.
Issues the Court considers are things such as duration of the relationship, cohabitation, the care and support of any children, the financial relationship between the parties, intimacy and the like. Other less commonly considered issues are things such as the public view of your relationship and whether your relationship is registered in a state or territory.
These issues can be incredibly complicated and sometimes there may not be a clear answer until evidence has been compiled.
Problems can arise when parties have an ‘intimate’ relationship for an extended period, however this is almost the extent of the relationship and when it is over, one party thinks they have a claim to the other person’s assets. This is an emerging area of case law within the Family Law jurisdiction and there are a raft of ways which a good family lawyer will address this sort of case.
The complexity of these issues requires experience in this area to ensure you obtain accurate advice.
Call us on 8523 8400 (Gawler) or 8211 6500 (Adelaide) to arrange an appointment for an initial no obligation consultation with one of our experienced Family Lawyers. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com and we will contact you.