What You Need to Know about De Facto Relationships

Under Australian law, a de facto relationship is a relationship shared by two individuals who are not legally married or related by blood but have lived together for a certain period — typically, two years or longer. Once such a relationship falls apart and one of the parties is filing a claim or dispute, seeking legal help from a de facto relationship and mediation lawyers in North Sydney is strongly advised.

Determining De Facto Relationships

While Australia’s Family Act 1975 (Section 4AA) provides the legal blueprint for handling de facto relationship cases, there are no straightforward rules when it comes to determining which are the relationships that can be considered de facto. Many courts and mediation lawyers in North Sydney however use a certain set of factors as a basis.

These factors include the length of the relationship or time period where the two people have lived together, the extent and the nature of their shared residence, their degree of financial independence, as well as the ownership, use, and acquisition of property or real estate by the parties. Mediation lawyers in North Sydney also consider whether there’s a sexual relationship between the parties and whether there’s a child born out of their relationship.

All these aspects are considered to assess the degree of the parties’ mutual commitment to a shared life.

Like couples who are legally married and are seeking divorce or separation, people in a de facto relationship may also take it to court to file a claim or a dispute. A claim is valid to be filed within two years after the relationship has ended.

Things to Consider When Hiring a De Facto Relationship Lawyer

When looking for one of the most competent de facto relationship lawyers in North Sydney, make sure to take into account these things:

  • You should get legal help from someone who has the credentials and qualifications of a reputable lawyer: Is family law his or her area of expertise? Is he or she affiliated with a bar association?
  • Ask how long has your prospective lawyer been specializing in family law, especially de facto relationships. Also, check about his or her success rate.
  • The number of clients he or she currently handles. For family lawyers to properly study your case and defend your rights, they must have ample time. This is why it’s advisable to choose a lawyer who’s not much preoccupied with numerous cases involving other clients.
  • Personal rapport. In any legal case, communication between you and your lawyer is important. You should be comfortable relaying your concerns and thoughts to your lawyer so that he or she can effectively know your situation and protect your rights.


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