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What is the definition of de facto relationship?
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) defines a de facto relationship in Section 4AA as a relationship that two people, whether of the opposite sex or same sex (who are not married or related by family) have, as a couple, been living together on a “genuine domestic basis”.
The circumstances of the relationship will have a bearing on whether or not a de facto relationship exists. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
It is possible for a de facto relationship to exist where:
Living together is only one factor that the Family Court will consider in determining if a de facto relationship exists.
How are children of a de facto relationship dealt with upon separation?
Where there are children of a de facto relationship, the Family Court a follow the same process to resolve de facto parenting disputes as for married parenting disputes (click here for further information). We can assist you in mediation for parenting issues, whether you were married or in a de facto relationship.
How are financial matters of a de facto relationship dealt with?
A separated de facto couple can apply to the Family Court with respect to their financial dispute following the same process as for married couples (click here for further information). A time limit does apply, so that this application must be made within two years of separation.
Before the Family Court will determine a de facto financial dispute, it must be satisfied of several criteria:
How can mediation assist with parenting matters and financial matters of a de facto relationship?
The Family Court process is costly (both financially and emotionally) to both parties. Where a couple is seeking to resolve their parenting and/or financial dispute after the breakdown of a de facto relationship, it can be beneficial to attempt mediation first. This is also a compulsory Family Court requirement in numerous matters (click here for further information). Mediation can allow the parties to collaborate and attempt to amicably resolve their dispute and reach a compromise. If agreement is reached at mediation, we will write the agreement in the legal format of draft consent orders, so that you can file this with the Family Court, which after reviewing it will convert it into legally binding and enforceable Consent Orders.
What are the exceptions to Family Court Orders for de factor relationships?
A Binding Financial Agreement can be made prior to entering into a de facto relationship or during a de facto relationship. It can state how a couple will distribute their property in the event of the breakdown of their relationship. Therefore, a Binding Financial Agreement allows a de facto couple to dictate how they want their property to be settled, rather than leaving this at the mercy of the Family Court. There are strict rules surrounding Binding Financial Agreements, such as both parties having obtained independent legal advice (click here for further details of these requirements).
As there are many individual considerations in relation to a Binding Financial Agreement, it is important to always seek legal advice when considering your options.
More Information on Mediation & Family Dispute Resolution
- Family Dispute Resolution
- Parenting Plans
- Financial Agreements
- Child-Inclusive Mediation
- Section 60I Certificates
- Child Support
- Child Support Calculator
- De Facto Relationships & Separation
- Divorce & Mediation
- Grandparents & Mediation for Grandchildren
- Parenting Plan & Draft Consent Orders for Children
- Property Settlement at Mediation
- Mediation & Domestic Violence
- Relocation & Overseas Travel with a Child
- Going to the Family Court versus Mediation
- Family Dispute Resolution & Mediation
- Child Support & Mediation
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Family Dispute Resolution
Family Dispute Resolution or Family Mediation is the process through which parents in conflict can meet, discuss and reach agreement on parenting issues and financial matters, all with the assistance of an objective and neutral third party in a calm and professional environment.
Financial Agreements deal with any property, investments, shares and other assets and liabilities. Mediation is the quickest and most cost-effective process for reaching settlement. Our mediators provide written financial agreements to both parties at the end of the mediation.
A trained child consultant spends time with each child and uses therapeutic tools and strategies to determine how they are coping and what may need to change. The child consultant then provides feedback to the parents during the mediation.
Section 60I Certificates
Section 60I certificates are required before an application for Parenting Orders can be made to the Family Court. Our mediators are approved by the Department of the Federal Attorney-General to provide section 60I certificates.
Child Support Agreements deal with how parents financially support their children, including day-to-day costs of living, school fees, uniforms and books, tuition costs, general medical and health care costs, and specific healthcare costs (such as speech therapy).
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information. Professional legal advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances, because laws and regulations undergo frequent changes.