Men and women who are investigating de facto relationship separation entitlements can receive a lot of misinformation depending on who they speak with and what they decide to take on face value.
We will outline some of the central talking points that constituents will have when they sit down with their legal representative.
The Nature of The Relationship
De facto relationship separation entitlements only come into play for those couples who have had a sexual and intimate partnership where marriage never occurred. A lawyer will sit down with their client during a private consultation and discuss with them the nature of their time together. How committed were they to each other? Were there other people involved during this time? Were they living together in the one location? Did they have future plans to marry or move away? Was there a degree of dependency for one party? Although it might be uncomfortable to confide this information through a legal representative, these are the details that will help to inform the courts about the entitlements.
The Duration of The Relationship
De facto relationship separation entitlements become eligible if their relationship has lasted for at least 24 months. This is the time mark that has been established by the Australian legal system, ensuring that individuals who have committed to a time together of at least 2 years are provided with specific rights that are afforded to them. Such a time period does not have to be continuous though, as there have been examples where breaks in the relationship are factored into the calculation, requiring an addition of segments that can lead up to the 2-year mark or beyond.
The Presence of Children
The very rare instance where the 2-year mark can be waived is when the couple has a child together. The involvement of children is significant when it comes to de facto relationship separation entitlements and the determination that is handed down by a family court. If one spouse has a child that was born with another partner, then there can be provisions where they are offered entitlements given the financial support they gave towards the child.
Degree of Financial Commitments & Investments
The amount of financial investment is another consideration that will inform de facto relationship separation entitlements. From the purchase or acquisition of property to the payments for vehicles, for key household assets, for school fees, council fees, services that the family utilised and any means where support was provided in monetary value, that will be part of the overall equation. A lawyer will seek documents to see what types of payments and bills were registered either as a partnership or separately to establish this pattern.
Can Both Spouses Come To An Agreement?
A key junction will arrive for men and women who are pushing for de facto relationship separation entitlements – either they can come to an agreement and formulate those terms out of court, or the matter will be fought inside a courtroom. A lawyer will strongly advise their client to try and reach a settlement in these situations, ensuring they are not paying the financial and emotional cost of fighting such a battle. However, if the facts are on their side and the other party is not willing to come to the table in good faith, then the entitlements will be argued before a family court.
A lawyer will be a guiding force for clients who want to know more about de facto relationship separation entitlements and establish what they are entitled to and what their responsibilities are. If there is any confusion about the topic or there has been secondhand information provided, it is important to clarify these details before planning the next step in the process.