De Facto Property Settlement

De Facto Property Settlement Can be Completed by Agreement or Through Court if Necessary

De Facto Property Settlements

The Family Law Act 1975 Commonwealth provides for property settlement for people who have been in a de facto relationship (except WA), including same-sex relationships.

How Can You Complete a De Facto Property Settlement?

There are four primary ways you can complete a de facto property settlement:

  1. An informal separation, which lacks many of the legal protections available under Australian law.

  2. By way of a Binding Financial Agreement.

  3. By way of a joint Application for Consent Orders through the Family Court of Australia.

  4. By bringing proceedings in a court that can hear proceedings in the family law jurisdiction and have a judge decide your property settlement.

If you were in a de facto relationship and separated after 1 March 2009 (1 July 2010 in SA), the following rules apply:

To apply for a court application for de facto property settlement you must:

  1. Have been in a relationship for at least a total period of 2 years or have a child of the relationship or have made substantial contributions which would be unfair not to have the contributions recognised or the relationship has been registered in a state or territory; and

  2. The parties have been in one of the states or territories of Australia (except WA) for at least one-third of the relationship or have made substantial contributions.

An alternative to a court application is a de facto property settlement by way of a binding financial agreement or financial agreement.  There is no time limit for financial agreements, however, both parties must consent to the property settlement.

Couple Discussing Separation