Defacto Relationships

Defacto LawDefacto relationship breakdowns in Western Australia are dealt with very similarly
to divorce, although some conditions apply.

Defacto couples are dealt with under the Western Australian Family Court Act. In Western Australia, their disputes are dealt with in the Family Court of Western Australia.

In child related cases, provided that the child and one of the parties to the proceedings resides in Western Australia, the Family Court of Western Australia normally deals with the matter.

A defacto couple can seek a property settlement from the Family Court of Western Australia provided that:

  • Firstly, they satisfy the definition of a defacto couple under section 13A of
    the Western Australian Interpretation Act. This includes a consideration of a
    number of factors, not all of which are required in every case;
  • Secondly, at least one of them is residing in Western Australia,
  • Thirdly, the couple spent at least a third of their relationship residing in
    Western Australia or made substantial contributions of the kind referred to in
    section 205ZG(4)(a), (b) or (c) in Western Australia; and
  • Fourthly, the Court must also be satisfied that:(a) there has been a de facto relationship between the partners for at least
    2 years; or(b) there is a child of the de facto relationship who has not yet attained
    the age of 18 years; and failure to make the order would result in serious
    injustice to the partner caring or responsible for the child; or(c) the de facto partner who applies for the order made substantial
    contributions of a kind mentioned in section 205ZG(4)(a), (b) or (c) and
    failure to make the order would result in serious injustice to the partner.

If the parties fall within the above requirements then the law that applies is almost identical to the law applied to married couples.

Time Limitation of Claims

If you wish to make a claim for property adjustment or spousal maintenance, you must apply within 2 years of the date that your de facto relationship ended. There can sometimes be a difference of opinion between the parties as to when the relationship ended, so you need to be careful about delaying your application.

If your relationship has broken know you need to know your rights and receive a fair settlement, take the stress out and call O’Sullivan Law on 08 6389 0305 and we will take care of you.

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