DeFacto Relationships On The Central Coast
The Family Law Amendment (Defacto Financial and Other Matters) Act 2008, which came into effect largely on 21 November 2008 has brought property disputes of defacto couples under the Family Court umbrella. This means that the Family Law Act and principles in determining entitlements for a property settlement are now governed by the same legislation as married couples.
If you were in a defacto relationship, which can be a same sex relationship, the Court needs to find that a defacto relationship has been established and it has to be satisfied as follows:
- The total period of the defacto relationship is at least two (2) years or
- There is a child of the relationship or
- A party has made substantial contributions which would lead to serious injustice if any order was not made or
- The relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory and
- The parties have not substantially become married to each other.
Subject to these thresholds requirements being met the property and maintenance powers applied to financial affairs of defacto couples on relationship breakdown mirror those which apply to married couples under the Legislation.
Under the Family Law Act you can seek spousal maintenance if you are unable to support yourself from your own resources and your partner has the capacity to pay maintenance to you. A carer of a child is entitled to child support under the Child Support Assessment Act from the other parent of the child, irrespective of marriage.
If you need to commence proceedings for alteration of property interests you must do so within two (2) years from the date of separation or such further date if the court grants leave to do so.
To ensure you protect your rights and entitlements contact Linda Emery for advice on how to proceed.