If I Want To Separate From My Partner, What Are My Rights?

March 14, 2024    divorcelawyersperthwa
If I Want To Separate From My Partner, What Are My Rights?

In the Australian system, separation is considered the dissolution of an intimate association or relationship, including marriage and de facto relationships. It is a complex and complicated process that can be tough to go through. However, it is critical to know and understand the entitlements and rights of each individual during the separation process, irrespective of your unique situation, and having divorce lawyers Perth WA can ease your journey.

It is also important that both partners make some fast judgments about any applied matters concerning children and assets (properties and debts), in which experienced divorce lawyers can help you know about your legal rights.
Let us know about this matter in detail.

What is a de facto relationship? Understanding separation in detail

According to the Australian Family Law Act 1975, a de facto relationship is an association between two people of different or similar sex (who are not related by family or legally married) living together on a sincere domestic basis in all aspects and situations of their relationship. Section 44A of the same law aims to defend the couples cohabiting without entering into a marital arrangement.

Now comes separation – two people previously cohabiting together now living separately, in everyday understanding. However, a good divorce lawyer Perth can give you in-depth information about separation, as follows:

  • You will be considered separated when you stop living together as a couple.
  • At least one partner in the relationship has to decide to separate, act on it, and inform the other individual.
  • Complete agreement on the other partner’s part is not mandatory.
  • You can move out of your common residence, live in the same house, and have different lives. This arrangement is called ‘separation under one roof.’

Relatedly, the parties previously under a de facto relationship may have to prove their status to agencies like Centrelink – who will consider the following factors:

  • Whether the partners have separate sleeping arrangements.
  • Whether they share domestic chores and meals (differently than a married couple)
  • Whether they share money or bank accounts.
  • Whether the parties’ relations think of them as disconnected.

However, no legal prerequisite for separation exists, and the legal system usually doesn’t consider a particular aspect above mentioned as conclusive. As legal cohabitation is an important factor in residency application, it is essential to consult a de facto separation lawyer to ensure trouble-free future proceedings.

What are the entitlements or rights of separated couples?

The Australian family law system recognizes the privileges of the partners previously in relationship to an ‘impartial and justifiable share’ of their assets. Hiring qualified and knowledgeable de facto lawyers Perth to get informed assistance in determining the just entitlement of each party during separation is essential. The legal authorities managing these processes may consider several factors, including each partner’s non-financial and financial contribution to the partnership. These contributions will consist of:

  • Childbirth
  • The care of a child, if any
  • Household duties
  • Technical or vocational skills used during the partnership

According to the latest legal regulation, both ex-partners are entitled to live in their common home in a shared arrangement. The name on the property title or the rent agreement will not affect this right. Moreover, either partner cannot force the other to leave the home if the property isn’t in their name. Still, the court can pass judgments and order one partner to leave the shared property under ‘sole occupancy orders’. However, these orders are put in only when the circumstances become severe. Getting legal help from a de facto relationship lawyer Perth in these circumstances will be helpful.

The entitlement of the court-directed partner’s property share, or any rights accumulated during the relationship, will remain unchanged. Only one party will live in the house until the property is divided.
The law also permits the former partners to enter into a financial agreement. However, involving the most experienced Australian property settlement lawyers is essential to ensure issue-free proceedings. This financial agreement will include categorical contracts regarding the division of investments, accountabilities, retirement funds, properties, and spousal maintenance. It will be legally binding under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), part VIIIA (marriages) of part VIIIAB (de facto relationships).


The Australian justice system doesn’t have any legal process for separation. The separated partners don’t need to apply to a court or government department, fill out forms, or achieve a certificate. However, you may need to make proper arrangements for any children present, inform the banks, insurance, and superannuation companies, sort out the payment of debts, and update organizations like Medicare, Child Support Agency, or Centrelink. You will be more at ease while managing the complex legal proceedings with effective help from the best divorce lawyers Perth.

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