Married or defacto- the gap narrows

These days couples who separate after living in a de facto relationship in all states and territories of Australia, except WA and SA, are covered by the Family Law Act (Cth) for the purpose of obtaining a property settlement.

The law relating to a property division for a de facto couple separating after 1 March 2009 mirrors that which governs the breakdown of a formal marriage. Financial and non-financial contributions are taken into account, as well as the needs of the parties into the future and whether the resultant property settlement is just and equitable.

To seek an order from a court for a property settlement, a party to a de facto relationship must make an application within two years of separation. In a marriage there is no limitation period after separation. However, if you obtain a divorce, there is a twelve month period in which a party can make an application to the court for a property settlement or spousal maintenance. In both cases, an application to the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court can be made for leave to commence out of time.

Need advice in any Family Law matter or de facto matter call us today for a free initial case assessment and consultation.