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De Facto Relationships - What law applies to a de facto relationship in the event of separation?

For the Family Law Act to apply to disputes about property and spousal maintenance following the breakdown of a de facto relationship you must have been in a relationship for a total of at least two years.
If you do not meet this requirement, the Act may still apply if one of the following conditions are met:

• One party made substantial contributions and a failure to make an order will result in a serious injustice;

• There is a child of the relationship;

• The relationship was registered.

State law applies if you separated before 1 March 2009 and both parties do not choose to “opt in” to the Family Law Act. State law also applies to Western Australia.

What constitutes separation is:

• An intention to separate. The intention need not be mutual;

• The communication of that intention to the other party. The communication must be unambiguous and unconditional;

• Acting upon the decision to separate.

The information on this website is of a general nature only and may not reflect recent changes to certain areas of law. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for discussing your situation with a qualified legal practitioner.