Are you in a de facto relationship? Are you wanting to know what your rights are and how you can bring a claim under the Family Law Act? Find out here.
If you are or have been in a de facto relationship (whether heterosexual or same sex) and separate after 1 March 2009, you will generally have the same rights and responsibilities in Australia as married couples under the Family Law Act 1975 and before the Family Court.
For claims under the Family Law Act 1975, a couple must have been in a de facto relationship living together on a genuine domestic basis for at least 2 years. That 2 year requirement will not apply though if there is a child of the de facto relationship; the party making a claim made substantial contributions to the relationship and serious injustice would be caused if Orders were not or the relationship is or was registered under certain State law.
There are also some residency requirements for claims under the Family Law Act 1975. Parties to the de facto relationship must have been ordinarily resident in any Australian State (other than Western Australia and South Australia) when the relationship broke down or alternatively:
- either or both parties must have been ordinarily resident in any of those States when an Application for Orders of the Court was made; and
- both of the parties must have been ordinarily resident in any of those States during at least a third of the relationship or the Applicant for the Orders must have made substantial contributions, of a kind specified in the legislation, in relation to the de facto relationship in one or more of those States.
If you do not qualify to have your property matter heard in the Family Courts, you may qualify to be heard in Queensland under the Property Law Act 1974 or in other States under equivalent legislation.