What is a Defacto Relationship and are there any precautions to take or any legal papers to sign?

What is a Defacto Relationship and are there any precautions to take or any legal papers to sign?

What is a Defacto Relationship?

A De Facto Relationship is when two people who are not married to each other have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. A De Facto Relationship can exist between two people of the same sex or two people of opposite sex. Also, it is possible for a person who is already married, or in a De Facto Relationship to be in a De Facto Relationship with another person as well!

How does a Court determine whether there is a De Facto Relationship?

To determine whether two people have a De Facto Relationship the Court will consider the following:

– How long the couple have been in a relationship;

– How long the couple have lived together;

– Whether the couple have a sexual relationship;

– The degree of financial dependence or interdependence and any arrangements for financial support;

– The ownership and use of their property;

– The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

– Whether the relationship is a registered relationship;

– The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

Are there any precautions to take before you enter into a De Facto Relationship?

If you are considering, or are, in a De Facto Relationship you need to be aware that your De Facto Relationship will be treated the same as a marriage in the event that you and your partner break up.

This means that your rights in relation to the division of property of the De Facto Relationship will be dealt with in accordance with the Family Law Act. To ensure you are protected in the event of a break up it is possible to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement with your partner.

What is a Binding Financial Agreement?

A Binding Financial Agreement is a written agreement that sets out how property or financial resources are to be divided, if you and your partner break up. Binding Financial Agreements are recognised by the Family Court as long as they are made in accordance with the requirements set out in the Family Law Act. It is possible to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement before you enter a De Facto Relationship, during the De Facto Relationship or after the De Facto Relationship has ended.

Do I need a lawyer to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement?

Yes, you will need legal advice if you want to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement. This is because the Family Law Act requires each party to a Binding Financial Agreement to receive independent legal advice on the agreement and the effects of the agreement. If you do not have a Certificate signed by a lawyer that you have received independent legal advice than the agreement will not be considered binding by the courts.

If you are thinking about entering into a De Facto Relationship, are in a De Facto Relationship or have just ended a De Facto Relationship and need expert Family Law  advice on protecting your property, call Barwick Boitano today on (02) 9630 0444 or email on fjb@bblawyers.com for an appointment.

Easy parking directly opposite the practice and convenient to local transport!