Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

De facto relations and divorce and separation in Australia

De Facto relations are recognized by the laws in Australia. It is a relationship in which two unmarried adult people live together as a couple and are not related otherwise. Since, there is no marriage involved, there is no divorce. Only separation is involved as the couple has legal recognition as a couple.

The legal rights of the couple involved in a de facto relation are similar to that of a married couple. In case of a breakdown, the Federal laws are not applicable to them. The state laws are applicable for couples involved in De Facto relations. The case is heard in a local court or a district court. Rarely the case can also be heard in a supreme court. Federal laws are applicable only for the children involved.

De facto relations and children during separation

The children and issues related come under the Family Law of Australia. All the cases are heard in the family courts and federal courts in Australia. According to the Australian Family Law, both the partners are equally responsible for the responsibility of the child. This is the case even if they separate or enter a new relation. The parental responsibilities include responsibilities and authority over decisions related to children.

De Facto relation and Spousal Maintenance

There is no or very little scope for Alimony or maintenance in a De Facto relation. However, one partner can claim maintenance for the other if it can be proved that the person has lost earning capacity due to the relationship. Even in such cases, the person must be willing to get trained and work for a living as there are no arrangements of permanent Maintenance.

De facto relations and separation

The Family Law part viii AB deals with the separation of De facto relations after March 2009. The Family courts can now make orders regarding division of property and maintenance. Each partner should get independent legal advice and a certificate from a different solicitor. The Legal agreement should be in written format and signed by both the partners in De facto relation.

Thus, though the De facto relations are recognized in Australia, they are not equal to marriage. The partners are recognized as couple but not as spouses. Hence, there are separate laws for separations in De facto relations. There is no question of divorce since the couple is not regarded as spouses. However, things like child custody, maintenance and division of property are dealt with according to the family laws.

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Child Custody in Australia
Child Support in Australia
Divorce Laws in Australia
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No Fault Divorce in Australia
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