De Facto / Same Sex Relationships
These days, those in de facto relationships are protected by similar rights as married couples under the Family Law Act.
This relationship equality has also meant that de facto couples, including those in same sex relationships, can face unexpected legal and financial obligations if the relationship comes to an end.
Child custody and parenting arrangements can be complex, particularly for same sex couples or where one party is not a biological parent.
At Lloyd & Lloyd our family law experts can provide practical and effective advice on:
What does de facto mean?
You are considered de facto if you are in a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. As all relationships are different, there are a number of factors the Court considers when determining whether a relationship fits this description, such as:
- The duration of the relationship
- Whether you have children together
- The degree of financial dependence and
- Co-ownership of property, among other factors.
The definition of de facto applies to all relationships, same sex or otherwise and even where one person is legally married to someone else.
How can I protect my assets?
The broader definition of a de facto relationship in legislation means that many couples have unknowingly found themselves in a de facto relationship. Their partner has then had the ability to make a claim for property or assets acquired before or during the relationship. A Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) is an effective way to protect assets against future claims. For a Binding Financial Agreement to be enforceable, both parties must get independent legal advice. BFA's can be made before, during or after a de facto relationship commences or breaks down.