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De facto Separation

Helping you resolve a breakdown and move on

De Facto Separation

Many people in Australia choose to live together as a same-sex or opposite-sex couple without being married.  Just as marriages break down, so too can these ‘de facto’ relationships.  The emotional and financial impact can be equally stressful.

If your de facto relationship has broken down, you have the right to seek property settlement and spouse maintenance as long as you have been living in a genuine domestic relationship. 


If you or your partner are disputing whether you have lived together in a genuine de facto relationship, you can seek a declaration from the Family Court. The Court will examine the nature of your relationship, considering factors such as the length of your relationship, whether you live together, intimacy, financial dependence or interdependence between the parties, use of property, mutual commitment to a shared life, care and support of children, and the reputation and public aspects of your relationship.

Rights & Obligations

If your de facto relationship breaks down you have rights and obligations that may include property settlement and spouse maintenance. At Clancy & Triado our expert family lawyers can advise you on your financial rights and obligations and help you to achieve the best possible outcome. Financial claims must be issued within two years of the date of separation and partners often disagree about that date. This makes it important for you talk to us as soon as possible after your separation. 

Financial Agreements

A financial agreement made early in a relationship can save an enormous amount of stress. That’s because it establishes how your property will be divided and whether spouse maintenance is to be paid in the event of a separation. If you are about to enter into a de facto relationship, or you are already living in one, now is the right time to talk to Clancy & Triado about preparing this important contractual agreement. 

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