A de facto relationship is defined by Australian Family Law, and treats unmarried couples of the same or opposite sex in the same way as married couples. The question of whether you are in this kind of relationship can have major legal repercussions, and it is especially relevant when children are involved. It is much easier to resolve disputes over children, property and other issues if you can prove that you were in a de facto relationship. If you are not sure whether you satisfy the criteria, we recommend that you seek assistance from renowned family lawyers Perth. Here is everything you need to know before you ask for legal help.
What Constitutes a De Facto Relationship?
The definition of a de facto relationship is relative and depends on circumstances. Generally, you are considered to be in a de facto relationship if you have lived with your partner for at least two years without separation or if you have children together. However, other factors can affect your status too. Here is what the court might consider as important when determining the nature of your relationship:
- The length of your relationship
- The nature of your relationship
- Financial dependency
- Shared life
- Shared property ownership
The court treats each case individually and takes all the relevant aspects of your relationship into consideration. Divorce lawyers Perth-wide can help you resolve disputes when your relationship faces serious problems.
What Happens After the Breakdown of a De Facto Relationship?
When you decided to end a de facto relationship, you can choose one of the two possible ways to find a workable solution. One of them is reaching an agreement without going to court. This is a much better solution for both sides, and can often be resolved with verbal agreement, but if this is not the case it is essential that the agreement is well thought through and meticulously written. To avoid conflicts and protect your interests as well as those of the children, you can opt for family mediation. Perth lawyers can help you by appointing an arbiter to communicate with your partner about delicate issues such as property and child care.
When should you apply to the family court? If you have been in a de facto relationship and you have encountered a major issue related to your children or property, you can appeal to the Family Court of Western Australia. If you have clear proof that you have been in this type of relationship, your case will be treated as if you are a married couple getting divorced.