De Facto Lawyers Melbourne

De facto separations finalised with compassion and integrity. Legal solutions focused on effective resolution, keeping your matter out of court whenever possible.

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Efficient Solutions

Navigating De Facto Relationship Breakdown With Expertise

The legal aspects of ending a de facto relationship can be confusing without the correct guidance. Our family lawyers will help you to understand your entitlements and obligations so that you can make informed decisions throughout the process. You can trust our expertise to ensure your rights are protected, and a fair outcome is reached.

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Peace of Mind For De Facto Family Law Matters

With a deep understanding of the emotional toll legal separation can take, our team pairs empathy and legal excellence to guide you through every step of the process. We will work with you to ensure that your separation is finalised fairly and efficiently, utilising out-of-court resolution whenever possible.

From property settlement through to parenting arrangements, your needs are our priority, and our expertise ensures effective solutions that are tailored to your needs.

Facilitating Fair & Amicable Resolutions For De Facto Separations

Ending a significant relationship is often challenging, which is why we focus on making the legal aspects easy for you to manage. Our family lawyers take a holistic approach to each case we work on, offering clear guidance so you can make informed decisions about your future.

We aim to alleviate stress and uncertainty by offering a range of solutions that ensure the wellbeing of all parties involved. By utilising mediation and dispute resolution, we find that almost all matters can be successfully resolved out of court.

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Areas of Practice

Our team can help you with all de facto separation matters, and any ongoing issues such as parenting disputes, relocation matters or other family law issues.

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Family Law

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Divorce & Separation

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Children & Custody

family law property settlement

Binding Financial Agreements

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Property Settlement

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Family Violence

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Intervention Orders

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Same Sex Divorce

Compassionate Expertise Throughout Your De Facto Separation

Our team of family law professionals are here to support you with the compassion and care you deserve during your separation. With our guidance, your de facto separation can be finalised effectively and efficiently.

You can rely on us to lead you through this journey, providing expert guidance and transparency every step of the way. And rest assured, we’re committed to helping you make informed decisions that prioritise the wellbeing of you and your family.

How To Work With Testart Family Lawyers

From your first consultation to final resolution, your welfare remains our foremost concern. Reach out to Testart Family Lawyers today for a complimentary appointment, and let us assist you through this challenging period.

Step 1: Book Your Free Appointment

Reach out to Testart Family Lawyers in Melbourne to secure your initial free appointment.

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Step 2: Develop Your Plan Of Action

During our first session, we’ll explore the specifics of your legal matter and outline a plan to move forward.

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Step 3: Partner With Us For Guidance

Engage our team to handle your matter, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Book Your Free Appointment

Let Testart Family Lawyers help you during this challenging time. Contact us now to arrange your first meeting at no cost.

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Address

23 Milton Parade

Malvern VIC 3144

Open Hours - By Appointment

Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm

Closed Sat - Sun

Frequently Asked Questions

What does de facto relationship mean?

If you and your partner live together and are in a genuine relationship but are not married, you may be in a de facto relationship. Most de facto couples are treated similarly to marriages under family law.

Generally, to be defined as a de facto relationship you must have been either: together for two years, have a child together, have made a substantial contribution to the property or finances of your partner, or have the relationship registered under a State or Territory Law. Speak to a defacto lawyer in Melbourne for advice on your unique situation.

What constitutes a de facto relationship?

A de facto relationship is defined under the Family Law Act[1] as being a relationship between two people of either the same or opposite sex if the parties are:

  1. Not legally married to each other; and
  2. They are not related by family; and
  3. Having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.

If you are in a de facto relationship, you are able to register your relationship with the department of Births Deaths and Marriages, this provides evidence of the relationship.

If you have not registered the relationship the court may take into account the following circumstances to determine if the parties lived together on a genuine domestic basis.

  • The duration of the relationship
  • Whether the parties have a common residence
  • Whether there is a sexual relationship between the parties
  • The financial relationship of the parties
  • The ownership, use and acquisition of their property
  • The mutual commitment to a shared life
  • If the relationship was registered
  • Care and support of any children
  • The reputation and public aspects of the relationship

The court has discretion as to what weight is given to each particular factors to be considered and as to what will be considered, however they will usually consider the relationship as a whole.

What is a de facto partner entitled to?

A de facto partner is entitled to the same rights under Family Law that a married couple has for the division of the parties assets following a separation.

There are three ways in which a party to a de facto relationship can finalise a division of their property:

  • By agreement between the parties which can be formalised by a Binding Financial Agreement which does not require the court.
  • By agreement between the parties which can be formalised by the court through Consent Orders; or
  • Through a property division ordered by the court.

In order for a de facto partner to have an entitlement which is enforceable in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia the parties’ de facto relationship must satisfy the following:

  • The period or total period of the relationship is at least 2 years; or
  • There is a child of the de facto relationship; or
  • That the de facto partner has made substantial contributions or a failure to recognise the de facto relationship would result in a serious injustice; or
  • The relationship was registered

If you are able to satisfy the court of the above requirements, then you will be entitled to seek relief from the court for spousal maintenance and/or property orders for a property distribution, in the same way that a married couple is able to. The court will make a judgement based on the facts of the individual case as to what division of the parties asset is most appropriate.

In addition to orders for maintenance and a property division a de facto partner also has the right to claim child support from the Child Support agency for a child of the de facto relationship.

How do you prove a de facto relationship in court?

In order to prove the existence of a de facto relationship, in court, you will need to show the court, that you are not legally married to each other, and are not related to each other by family. In addition, you will need to show to the court, that regarding all the circumstances of the relationship, that you are living together on a genuine domestic basis.

The court may consider the following factors to determine whether the parties live together on a genuine domestic basis.

  • The duration of the relationship
  • Whether the parties have a common residence
  • Whether there is a sexual relationship between the parties
  • The financial relationship of the parties
  • The ownership, use and acquisition of their property
  • The mutual commitment to a shared life
  • If the relationship was registered
  • Care and support of any childre
  • The reputation and public aspects of the relationship

While the above factors set out the circumstances that the court may take into account, the court is not required to consider all or any of the above circumstances. The court instead, has a wide discretion as to what they will take into account, and how much weight they will give to each factor, when determining if there is a de facto relationship or not. Usually, the court will consider the characteristics of the relationship, as a whole.

In addition, you will also need to establish, that you have been living together for two years, or in the alternative that there is exceptional circumstances, or a child of the de facto relationship.

What are my de facto property rights?

Since 1 March 2009, a de facto partner is entitled to the same rights under Family Law that a married couple has, for the division of the parties property following a separation.

Now, following a de facto separation, you are able to apply to the court, to seek orders for a property distribution, or in the alternative you are able to reach an agreement with respect to a property distribution, without the need for court.

If you apply to the court to seek a property distribution the court will consider:

  • The assets and liabilities that you own jointly and individually; and
  • The financial and non-financial contributions made by both parties; and
  • The future needs of both parties;
  • The current and future financial circumstances of each party; and
  • The care of children of the de facto relationship

Your application to the court must be made within 2 years of the end of the relationship.