Starry-eyed romantics would say that when two people are in love, nothing else matters in the world. While this may be a lovely thought, those starry eyes do need to be wide open whenever two individuals decide that they are going to live together. While they may not intend their relationship to be seen as formal, in the eyes of the law it could be just that. Do you need to be concerned about getting into a de facto relationship?
It's important not to let emotions get in the way when deciding how to live your lives together. Rational decisions must be made, or it could cost a lot of money in a family law court. If the relationship breaks down irretrievably, one party could claim against the former lover, looking for some compensation. This can be difficult to determine, with the courts considering a number of different factors to help them make up their mind.
Relationship Length and Financial Support
The first thing to consider is the length of the relationship. If you've been living together for some time, then the situation may be considered more of a partnership than anything else. The courts will also take into account whether there were any physical relations between the two individuals, but the biggest issue is typically financial support. If one individual was paying most of the bills, this can be crucial. And if there was any joint ownership of property, this will be considered as well.
Document Signing and Social Media
When two individuals sign long-term contracts together, this indicates that they are committed, one way or the other, to sharing their future. The courts will not only look at these documents, but they may also look at social media accounts to see how both parties promoted their relationship to others. Furthermore, the existence of a child through the relationship, whether it be natural born or adopted, is almost certain to categorise the relationship as de facto.
More than anything else, the court will want to know if the plaintiff party would be materially impacted if they didn't rule in his or her favour and if they would suffer any injustice. This can be particularly the case if the defendant was contributing significantly to their cost of living.
Unravelling It All
As you can imagine, these issues can be very complex and the courts may take some time to determine the outcome. As a consequence, it's a good idea to get advice from a family lawyer.Share
24 August 2017
Hello, my name is Sandra. I live with my two children in Eastern Australia. I have recently come through a very difficult divorce. My ex-partner used to drink too much and he wasn't a very good husband or father. The final straw was when I discovered he was having an affair. I filed for divorce the same day. I knew that getting divorced would be difficult but I didn't realise just how difficult. My husband did all he could to make it hard for me and the kids. Thankfully, I found a fantastic family lawyer who helped me through the entire process. I won custody of the kids and my husband has been asked to pay child support. I decided to start this blog to help others who are going through a divorce.