De Facto Breakup Entitlements Australia: Complete 6 Helpful Steps

May 28, 2024    divorcelawyersperthwa
De Facto Breakup Entitlements Australia: Complete 6 Helpful Steps

Separations are a part and parcel of life and are also legally recognised today. This applies to both marriages as well as de facto relationships. Each relationship comes with its rights and entitlements during the time that the relationship is working and at the time of dissolution.

Separation can raise many questions about the division of property, the custody of children, further financial obligations, etc. Contacting a de facto separation lawyer can help clarify these in specific and individual contexts. This article covers six steps of your entitlements after a de-facto relationship is dissolved.

What are the criteria for a de facto relationship?

There is often confusion about what does and does not qualify as a de facto relationship. In essence, when you and your partner pursue a domestic life together without marriage. It is possible to be married and have a de facto partner at the same time in Australia in case of polyamorous relationships. The domestic basis is qualified by factors like:

  • The duration of the relationship is longer than two years
  • Contributions made by either party that show the existence of the relationship.
  • A child from the relationship.

Having all the above factors is unnecessary for a relationship to be considered de facto. However, the court may look into matters like the financial dependence and independence of each partner, the commitment to shared life, the sexual relationship between the partners, etc.

All of these factors may also be brought up at the time of separation.

What rights and entitlements do de facto partners have during separation?

A de facto couple is registered under the Family Law Act in Australia. This grants them the same bouquet of rights and entitlements as a married couple. Like any marriage, the partners have the right to come to a mutual agreement on the division of property, assets, liabilities, and child care if applicable. However, in case there is no settlement on the matter, the Legal Rights for De facto of each party are determined in the following steps:

1. 2 years to finalise property and maintenance

After the date of separation, the partners have a 2-year period to determine their property settlements. If applicable, this includes all the assets, liability, financial resources, and child care. This also includes claims of maintenance for either partner. In case this window is missed, you have the right to apply “out of time” with adequate proof and reason for the delay.

2. Examining the property owned by the de facto couple

By law, the de facto partners must disclose all sources of income and properties held by each party at the time of separation. This includes assets, liabilities, shared or individual properties, and financial resources acquired during the relationship.

3. Determining how each party contributed

This involves monetary or financial contributions but also emotional and non-financial labor and contributions such as child-rearing, maintaining the home, etc. It is important to remember that financial contributions do not take precedence over non-financial contributions. All of these factors are examined to determine the involvement of each party in the relationship.

4. Determining the level of independence

This looks at whether each party can individually sustain itself after the relationship is dissolved. It looks into factors such as health issues or disabilities that may prevent one partner from being able to work and provide for themselves.

5. Care of child

Another aspect to consider is whether the partners have a child and the decisions regarding its care. This includes matters of custody and financial support for the child.

6. Making an equitable decision

Once the information gathered from the previous steps is presented to the court, a decision will be made which considers each party’s needs and capabilities.


In summary, we have to say that while separations can be smooth sailing and amicable for some, they can also be tricky and stressful for others. It all depends on the individual conditions of each case. That’s why the best way to know about our rights and responsibilities regarding your situation is to contact the best separation lawyers in Perth. The most skilled lawyers can make the process easier and fair. You will successfully sail through the legal process.

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