DEFACTO PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS
Written by Nanki Kaur
What is a defacto relationship?
Under section 4AA of the Family Law Act, a person is considered to be in a defacto relationship with another person if:
1. They are not legally married to each other; and
2. They are not related by family; and
3. They have a relationship as a couple living together on a “genuine domestic basis”.
CONDITIONS OF A DEFACTO PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
A defacto couple can seek a property settlement if:
1. They have lived in a defacto relationship for at least 2 years; or
2. Have a child from the relationship; or
3. It would be unfair not to recognise one party’s financial or non-financial contributions.
An application for property settlement for a defacto relationship is to be filed within 2 years after the date of separation.
DETERMIING A FAIR SETTLEMENT
The Court can determine how property is divided between separated parties in a marriage or defacto relationship.
The Court will apply the following principles of the Family Law Act:
What are the current value of the assets, liabilities and superannuation of the parties to the relationship;
Whether there were any financial and non-financial contributions made by the parties during the relationship;
What are the future needs of the parties including but not limited to their future obligations, income earning capacity and the cost of care for any children; and
Determine whether the Orders proposed are just and equitable.
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