De Facto Lawyers Brisbane

Leaving A De Facto Relationship? Here’s What You Need To Know

In Australia, de facto relationships are recognised by law, and de facto partners enjoy many of the same rights as a married couple. When a de facto relationship breaks down, both parties are entitled to certain financial rights and responsibilities. At Collective Family Law Group, we have experienced de facto lawyers to help you navigate the laws around de facto relationships and undergo separation, mediation, and settlement successfully. Here are a few things you should know if you’re considering leaving a de facto relationship.

What Is A De Facto Relationship?

In essence, a de facto relationship is where two people who aren’t married to one another and aren’t related to one another live together in a genuine ‘marriage-like’ domestic situation. For the purposes of family law and property settlement, a de facto relationship is one in which;

  • A couple has been living together in a genuine domestic relationship for at least two years.
  • The couple has a child who has not yet reached the age of 18.
  • One or both of the parties have made significant financial or non-financial contributions to the relationship.

What Rights Do You Have When Leaving A De Facto Relationship? 

The most common question de facto lawyers hear pertains to an individual’s rights when leaving a de facto relationship. Every relationship is unique, and your separation lawyer will be able to look at the intricacies of your case and provide detailed legal advice. However, there are a few rights that apply to almost every de facto relationship.

  • You may be entitled to a division of property. In some instances in which you and your partner have purchased property, have acquired assets together, or have children together, you may need to undergo property settlement to divide the assets equitably. However, if you have no property and no children, you might not need to undergo property settlement. If you choose to go through property settlement, you will need to abide by the same four-step process that applies to married couples.
    • The assets and the debts of each party are considered and pooled.
    • We look at who has contributed what to the relationship, both financially and non-financially.
    • We consider factors that will affect individuals in the future, such as income and arrangements for child custody.
    • We make sure the overall outcome is just and equitable.
  • You may be able to apply for spousal maintenance. If you can’t financially support yourself after the end of a de facto relationship, you can apply for spousal maintenance. However, the success of your application will depend on your needs and your ex-partner’s capacity to pay.
  • You have a set time period to apply for property settlement orders. From the date of your separation, you have two years to apply for property settlement orders, so it’s best to speak to a separation lawyer as soon as you leave the relationship.

Should You Call A De Facto Lawyer? 

Some de facto separations are straightforward, and neither party needs the advice of de facto lawyers. On the other hand, some relationships are a little bit more complicated. Here are a few signs that you should call a separation solicitor when your relationship ends.

  • If you have a child or children together. When kids are involved, it’s best to attend mediation and draw up a parenting agreement. A parenting agreement outlines the child’s best interests, each parent’s responsibilities in making major long-term decisions about the child’s life, and the living arrangements for the child. If you can’t make decisions during mediation, you may need to apply for a parenting order from the family court.
  • If you have an initial binding financial agreement. Some de facto couples seek independent legal advice to create a binding financial agreement before entering into a de facto relationship. This document is sort of like a prenuptial agreement and aims to protect the financial interests of both parties if the relationship were to break down. If you have a binding financial agreement, come and see a separation lawyer at Collective Family Law Group, and we’ll help you read through it, so you understand your rights.
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence. If there is a documented history of domestic violence in your relationship, you may be entitled to different rights on the breakdown of a relationship. You may be able to access a domestic violence order (DVO), a protection order, a restraining order, or an apprehended violence order (AVO). Which can serve to protect you and your children from your abuser. The Collective Family Law Group team has extensive experience handling sensitive domestic violence issues, so if you’re looking for de facto lawyers to handle your case with compassion, contact us today. 

If You Need De Facto Lawyers, Choose Collective Family Law Group

At Collective Family Law Group, our practice focuses exclusively on family law matters. We’re industry experts in all matters of family law, including but not limited to matters of separation, property settlement, domestic violence, financial agreements, divorce, and child support. We strive to provide quality legal services with a resolution-focused approach to our clients’ needs, and our team offer practical legal advice and solutions in a professional, approachable manner. If you need de facto lawyers, contact Collective Family Law Group today.


We are committed to the efficient and prompt resolution of family law matters, in the most cost effective manner possible.

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These guys have been absolutely amazing with helping me with my case as it has been tough but they have helped me get through it. Honestly the team have been so amazing and have helped me with been able to get the courage to get through this situation and they have been so supportive. The service has been fantastic as they have checked up on me and my family constantly to see how we have been going through out the process. I would highly recommend Collective Family Law Group to any one seeking assistance in a family law matter. Yours Faithfully, Mark.

I cannot speak highly enough about the team at Collective Family Law. I was going though a very hard time emotionally and financially and received nothing but compassion and support. If you need a family lawyer please look no further than this group of high knowledgeable and skilled people, you’ll be glad you did. Yours faithfull Brendan.

If any interaction with a business deserve 5 stars this law firm does. When I left I felt like I had been problem solving with a trusted friend over coffee, beware the choc chip cookie jar in the kitchen area

The whole team at Collective Family Law have been so helpful. They have helped me through such a hard time and went above and beyond to make sure my every need was met, and to such a high standard. Couldn’t recommend them enough!!!

The team at Collective Family Law Group helped me navigate through a very difficult time in my life. I appreciated their honest, straight forward approach and would recommend them to anyone needing family law work done.

Amazing firm and staff! Couldn’t recommend enough.

Fantastic experience. I was skeptical of the whole free first consultation thing but how wrong I was. Jenny was awesome, answered all of my questions and advised clearly on my situation with knowledge, understanding and a lovely manner. Would recommend to anyone who asks.
My first (and hopefully last) experience with a family law service, so I have nothing to compare to. I don’t know what fees are like generally with other family law services, but it was a costly experience. You do get what you pay for though, I always had a prompt and professional response to all of my concerns.

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