Are you (or were you) in a de facto relationship? This is not always an easy question to answer. This is often an issue in de facto family law matters in Western Australia. It may be necessary to determine whether or not a de facto relationship existed.
In order to determine whether a de facto relationship exists the Family Court may consider factors such as:
- The length of the relationship;
- Whether you lived together and for how long;
- The nature and extent of any common residences;
- Whether there was a sexual relationship;
- The extent of any financial dependence or interdependence, or any arrangements for financial support;
- The ownership, use and acquisition of property (including property owned individually);
- The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
- Whether you cared for or supported children; and
- The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
The above are not essential requirements but rather indicators as to whether or not a de facto relationship exists (or existed).
If you were in a de facto relationship and have now separated, under de facto family law in Western Australia you may be entitled to property settlement or spousal maintenance as though you had been married.
You should commence any application for property settlement or spousal maintenance within 2 years of the date of separation. After this time, you will permission from the Court to make an application.
Similarly, what should you consider before entering into a de facto relationship? Entering into a de facto relationship may give rise to a later claim against your assets.