Recent legislative changes in Western Australia now provide for de facto relationships, including same sex relationships, to fall within its jurisdiction. The court now has the power to determine the property and maintenance proceedings for parties of de facto relationships.
Pursuant to the Family Law Act, a person is in a de-facto relationship with another person when:
- The persons are not legally married to each other;
- The persons are not related by family; and
- Having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
A de facto relationship will exist where there is a ‘genuine domestic relationship.’ One of the following must exist:
- The parties have been in a de facto relationship for at least 2 years; or
- There is a child of the parties’ relationship; or
- It would be ‘unjust’ not to recognise a de facto party’s financial or non-financial contribution
The Family Court determines parenting arrangements for parties to a de facto relationship in the same way as it would for parties to a marriage.
Further, for a situation where there has been no prior financial agreement, parties of a de facto relationship can apply for property orders in the Family Court of Western Australia.
In determining whether a de facto relationship exists the court must consider many factors. Our legal team at Perth Family Lawyers are happy to provide advice in all family law areas affecting parties to a de facto relationship.