De Facto & Same-Sex Relationships

In most instances, financial issues between separated de facto partners, including same-sex partners, are dealt with under the same legislative framework as married couples.

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Financial issues arising from the breakdown of a de facto relationship, including same-sex relationships, are dealt with under the Family Law Act 1975(Cth)(“Act”). Whilst the legislative framework is similar as for married couples, it is not identical.

In order for a couple to satisfy the definition of a de facto relationship and invoke the jurisdiction of the Act, the couple must be living together on a genuine domestic basis. Whilst not exhaustive, circumstances which may give rise to such a finding are found within the Act and include any or all of the following:

  • duration of the relationship
  • nature and extent of the parties’ common residence (i.e. cohabitation)
  • existence of a sexual relationship
  • degree of financial dependence or interdependence (i.e. intermingling of finances)
  • the ownership, use and purchase of their property
  • care and support of any children of the relationship
  • public presentation of the relationship and commitment to a shared life

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has jurisdiction over post-separation parenting matters regardless of family type.

Although access to surrogacy, adoption and reproductive technology has advanced at a rapid rate, the law on recognition of parentage for same-sex couples who have children can be difficult to navigate. Our team is able to provide expert advice on the best outcome to protect the interests of the children of same-sex couples, as well as protecting the rights of the couple.

At Taussig Cherrie Fildes, our team can advise in relation to all aspects of de facto law.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • property settlements
  • child support and child support agreements
  • care arrangements for children
  • financial agreements (including prior to and during the relationship and post separation)
  • maintenance
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