Defending Finances: How to Protect Assets in De facto Relationships?

June 20, 2023    divorcelawyersperthwa
Defending Finances: How to Protect Assets in De facto Relationships?

In Australia, marriage laws and their impact on the assets of the couple are understood extremely well. But at times, many people become confused when it comes to the “De Facto Relationship” and how the couple’s assets get treated.

Some individuals are uncertain as to whether or not their present relationship will be viewed as “de facto” legally. Besides that, they’re also not sure if they have to protect their assets when they enter a de facto relationship.

This post will deliver a precise exposition of how the Australian law describes the “de facto relationship”. One will also learn how exactly one can project their assets when he/she is in a de facto relationship.

De Facto Relationship: Things You Should Know

According to Australian Law, the de facto relationship is when two individuals are in a relationship but are not married to each other. They are residing together on a “genuine domestic basis”.

At times, it’s not that simple, but one might legally be in a de-facto relationship if:

  • Either individual is still legally married to another individual
  • Either individual is in the de facto relationship
  • One is in a committed and genuine relationship but resides under the same roof.

It is to note that the Australian court will review a person’s relationship condition. The court will also check all the evidence to decide if the de facto relationship existed or existed.

Besides that, there are other diverse range of aspects, which the court will check to decide if an individual is in a de facto relationship. These are:

  • The duration of the relationship
  • If a sexual relationship was present
  • The degree of monetary interdependence or dependence between the couple
  • Acquisition, use and ownership of the property
  • Degree of mutual commitment towards the shared life
  • Support and care for the children (if there)
  • The public aspects and reputation of the relationship

Protecting the Assets in De Facto Relationship: How to Do It?

According to our property settlement lawyers there are two primary ways through which one can protect their assets in the de facto relationship. These are:

1.  Creating a Financial Contract

De facto couples can enter the “Binding Financial Agreement” when they are in a relationship and even after they have separated from each other. This agreement is similar to the prenuptial one.

The agreement formalises how exactly the finances, property and various other assets will get divided when the couple separates. Expert Lawyers believes that this type of agreement will also outline the other areas where he/she cannot or can make a claim on it.

2. Keep All the Finances Separate 

Under the family law property settlement, when one cannot create a Binding Financial Agreement, they should keep all their finances separately. This includes:

  • No intermingling of the finances
  • One must not have any joint bank account with their partner.
  • No responsibility when it comes to debts
  • De facto couples make their own separate decisions regarding the outgoings of wages.

Only one person should have full ownership of the acquired property without the presence of any joint ownership. Another individual should only focus on coverage for other expenses.

What are the Initial Aids of a De Facto Relationship?

The majority of de facto couples can make an equal financial contribution when they are in a relationship. They can also pay up for all the expenses, such as

  • Entertainment costs
  • Water bill
  • Electricity bill
  • Groceries
  • Rent
  • And many more.

While searching for ‘good property lawyer near me’, you can also see that they have pointed out that couples can also bring their own assets, such as furniture and electrical appliances, for the house. But if the relationship comes to an end, the couple can divide the assets.

Products that were bought by one individual will get returned to them. If there are joint purchases, it gets divided in the form of cash between the two people. If disagreements take place, one should hire a professional property settlement lawyer who can finalise the whole issue.

But things become complex when all the contributions made within the de facto relationship might not be equal: To understand this proper manner, here are examples for it:

  • When a person has a home along with a massive equity in the home
  • One individual can own a share of a specific business, which adds a lot of value to the income-developing assets.
  • When an older relative has left behind a massive inheritance and might pass away very soon.

All these concerns stand out as a minor problem during the start of the de facto relationship. But when the relationship proceeds further, you must learn and understand what can happen when the relationship ends.

Effects on Assets due to De Facto Relationship

The family and law property settlement lawyers say that when people are in a de facto relationship, they will encounter many implications.

One big effect of de facto relationships is how the property and assets will get treated when the relationship ends. It can also lead to financial compulsions from one partner upon parting.

When to Make a Claim for the Assets?

The law states that individuals can claim the assets against their former partner within 2 years of their separation.
According to Australian Law, the one requesting the claim should prove that he/she was in a de facto relationship under the guidelines of Australia’s Family Law Act.
Before proceeding further, please consult with our reliable de-facto lawyers about it. From Divorce Lawyers Perth, You will get proper insights about how to proceed and tips on these matters.


When one has some concerns about their relationship and how it can have an impact on the assets and finances, he/she should speak to a lawyer. Protecting your Assets while being in a de-facto relationship is a work of a wise person.

The lawyers from Divorce Lawyers  Perth offers the best legal advice on these matters. They have the knowledge and skills to handle these cases with care.

We always try to provide the best possible services to our clients. Our main aim is to satisfy our clients with our services. We also offer consultation services to the clients to effectively assess their client’s requirements. We will make sure that our clients gets proper information about their options.

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