Australian law does not recognise marriage between same sex couples; however same sex couples come under de facto relationships. As a de facto couple, if the relationship breaks down, you can apply to the court for a property settlement under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act). Our Family Lawyers have over a decade experience in same sex couples property disputes and same sex property settlements.
To apply for a property settlement after the break down of a same sex relationship, you will need to satisfy certain criteria of a de facto couple, which may include the following:
- The de facto relationship should have lasted for at least two (2) years;
- There is a child of the relationship; or
- One or both parties have made significant financial or non-financial contributions during the relationship.
The sex of the partners of a de facto relationship is not relevant. However, there are other factors that the court will look at in order to consider a same sex relationship to be a de facto relationship, which will usually include:
- The length of the relationship;
- The living arrangement between the parties;
- Whether the relationship included sex;
- Distribution of finances; and
- Any children as a result of the relationship.
The new laws relating to same sex couples property settlement were introduced on 1 March 2009 and are still relatively new. You should seek legal advice to understand how the law applies in your individual circumstances. Satisfying the criteria of a de facto relationship is simply one part of the process to finalise a property settlement. In addition to the consideration of the criteria and determination as to whether or not there is a de facto relationship, the Court will also look at how the property and other assets of each party are to be distributed or divided, in order to achieve a fair and justifiable outcome. There are a number of aspects the court will consider, which may include the following:
- Direct financial contributions of each party during the relationship (for example, towards property, bills, their income);
- Indirect financial contributions of each party during the relationship (for example, by way of gifts and inheritances from family members);
- Net value of current assets of each party including property, shares and superannuation; and
- Non-financial contributions of each party during the relationship.
Our team of Family Lawyers are highly experienced in the area of same sex couples property settlements. Over the years, we have acted for many clients coming out of or requiring advice in relation to a same sex relationship.
If you wish to make an appointment to see us at our head office in Sydney CBD, contact us by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, we may see you in one of our branch offices located in the Sydney metropolitan area. For a complete list of our branch offices, please peruse our "Locations" tab.
This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.
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If you require assistance with a Family matter, you should make an appointment to see one of our Lawyers in one of the following locations:
- Family Lawyer Sydney
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- Relationships Lawyer Sydney
- Divorce Lawyer Sydney
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