How to a mange the financial risk in my de facto relationship

De Facto Relationships

If you are at a point in your relationship where you are contemplating living with your partner or perhaps you have been living together for a short time, you may want to give some thought to what legally constitute a de facto relationship & to asset protection strategies such as binding financial agreements or a de facto binding financial agreement if already living together. We understand every relationship is different & you may never break up with your partner but in the event you do asset protection strategies adhered to from the commencement of your relationship will serve you well.

De facto relationship asset protection strategiesDepending on the length of time you have lived with your partner and a number of other things you may find you & your partner are considered to be in a de facto relationship which means you may have de facto entitlements by law should the relationship end. Establishing if you are in a de facto relationship is an important point. Say your relationship breaks down, you may think you are in a de facto relationship because you live with your partner and therefore have access to de facto entitlements. However your relationship may not meet the very specific criteria required to enable you to seek a property adjustment or settlement in the event the relationship breaks down.

Perhaps you spend 3 to 4 nights together but you each keep your own home. There have been findings where this has been to found to be a de facto relationship & therefore subject to de facto entitlements.

Law Reforms

In 2008, reforms were introduced to ensure that de facto couples including same sex couples were entitled to similar benefits and subject to the same legal obligations as married couples. All states except Western Australia have referred their powers to the Commonwealth in relation to dealing with property adjustments after the breakdown of a de facto relationship. For the referring States and Territories the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) ("FLA") now deals with property and maintenance issues for heterosexual and same sex de facto couples.

If you are “living together” there are a number of issues to consider when working out whether you are in a ‘de facto relationship’ under Commonwealth laws.

These include but are not limited to:

  1. How long you have lived together?
  2. Do you share financial resources & support each other financially?
  3. Have you purchased property or other assets together?
  4. Do you have children together?
  5. Do your friends think you are a couple?

This criteria sounds straightforward but it may surprise you to learn that there are literally thousands of “de facto jurisdiction” matters clogging the courts time. The reason for this is in order to establish de facto entitlements either both parties to the relationship must agree they were in a de facto relationship or the applicant in the matter must prove they were in a de facto relationship. Determining the legal status of the relationship is called a threshold issue.

If you are about to commence living with your partner it is important to understand your rights & responsibilities from the outset as there can be very real financial implications for couples who live together, share assets & then break up with no asset protection strategy in place.

Entering into a binding financial agreement or de facto binding financial agreement for couples already living together could be a smart move. Even if you are not wealthy a binding financial agreement will establish exactly what each of you has when entering the relationship and detail how assets & wealth is to be dealt with in the event of a relationship breakdown. There are a number of asset protection strategies that need to be considered as many have both positive & negative consequences.

Remember, the information contained on the site does not constitute legal advice. If you think you need legal advice you should contact an Accredited Family Law Specialist.

We have a suite of resources on the site that can help you build your knowledge about de facto relationships & de facto asset protection strategies. Scroll through the resources below or click through to the resources tab and filter our resources based on your area of interest. If you want to access our resources you can join the site as a member or simply purchase the individual resources you require.

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    • Bronze Resource
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      Living Together Checklist

      This resource explores issues associated with living together including; marriage, children, finances & much more……....
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    • Silver Resource
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      Existence of a Relationship Checklist

      This resource details the criteria a Court would use to determine the status of a relationship in an easy to understand format……....
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    • Free Resource
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      Property & Financial Matters Upon De Facto Relationship Breakdown

      This free resource provides a general outline of the relevant Family Law reforms, their genesis & much more…......
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      Child Support Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relations to child support including: payment procedures, calculation & much more…......
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      Consent Orders Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relation to consent orders including; parenting plans v’s consent orders & much more…......
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      De Facto Relationship Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relating to de facto relationships including; relationship criteria, BFA’s & much more…......
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      Family Violence Fact Sheet

      This resource details family violence issues including; court process, defining family violence & much more…......
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    • Silver Resource
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      Binding Financial Agreement Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relating to BFA's including; advantages & disadvantages, inclusions & much more……....
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      Mediation & Family Dispute Resolution Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relating to mediation & dispute resolution including; tips & strategies for mediation……....
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    • Platinum Resource
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      Property Settlement Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relating to property settlement including: court process, superannuation splits & much more……....
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      Spousal Maintenance Fact Sheet

      This resource details issues relating to spousal maintenance including: calculation, time limits & payment issues……....
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    • Gold Resource
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      Draft Applicant Case Outline

      This resource sets out case strategy for an Applicant in a de facto jurisdiction matter & much more….....
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    • Silver Resource
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      Binding Child Support Agreement Template

      This resource enables parents to document child support arrangements & includes instructions for completion…......
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    • Platinum Resource
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      Pre De Facto BFA Sample Clauses Template

      This resource provides a set of sample clauses which are editable & can be attached to a pre de facto BFA……....
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    • Silver Resource
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      Financial Statement Family Law Court Template

      This resource is a financial statement & must be completed & filed with the Court in order to commence proceedings……....
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    • Gold Resource
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      Limited Child Support Agreement Template

      This resource enables parents to document child support arrangements & review them every 3 years…......
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    • Platinum Resource
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      Cohabitation Agreement Sample Clauses Template

      This resource provides a set of sample clauses which are editable & can be attached to a cohabitation agreement……....
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    • Platinum Resource
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      Pre De Facto Relationship BFA Template

      This resource enables couples who are not yet living together to create their own BFA & is fully editable……....
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    • Bronze Resource
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      Schedule of Assets & Liabilities Template

      This resource provides structure for declaring all of assets & liabilities & is used during the settlement process……....
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      Separation Agreement Lump Sum Super Split Template

      This resource is a tool to aid in the settlement of all financial matters post separation & is fully editable…......
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      Separation Agreement Percentage Super Split Sample

      This resource enables you to review a completed separation agreement with a percentage super split…….....
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      Separation Agreement Percentage Super Split Template

      This resource is a tool to aid in the settlement of all financial matters post separation & is fully editable…......
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    • Gold Resource
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      Draft Respondent Case Outline

      This resource sets out issues pertinent to defending a de facto jurisdiction matter & much more……....
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      Separation Agreement Sample Clauses Template

      This resource provides a set of sample clauses which are editable & can be attached to a separation agreement……....
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    • Gold Resource
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      Shared Parenting Plan Agreement Template

      This resource enables parents to clearly document parenting arrangements & provides a structure for discussions…….....
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    • Bronze Resource
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      Superannuation Information Kit Family Court Template

      This resource provides you with a template to detail all of your superannuation entitlements & is used during separation……....
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    • Bronze Resource
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      Will & Testament Template

      This resource provides you with an editable template to create & manage your Will easily & cost effectively…….....
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      Will Notes To Executor Template

      This resource provides you with an editable template to create executor notes & manage all Will reviews…….....
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    • Platinum Resource
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      De Facto BFA Template

      This resource enables couples who are living together to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement & is fully editable……....
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    • Gold Resource
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      Pre De Facto Relationship BFA User Guide

      This resource sets out how to complete the Pre De Facto Binding Financial Agreement Template…......
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    • Silver Resource
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      De Facto BFA User Guide

      This resource sets out how to complete the De Facto Binding Financial Agreement Template…......
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    • Gold Resource
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      Pre De Facto BFA Sample

      This resource provides you with a completed sample Pre De Facto Binding Financial Agreement and can be used as a guide……....
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    • Gold Resource
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      De Facto BFA Sample

      This resource provides you with a completed sample Binding Financial Agreement and can be used as a guide……....
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    • Platinum Resource
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      How To Make A Living Together Agreement

      This resource explains why having a living together agreement protects you & your partner in the event of a breakup & much more….......
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    • Bronze Resource
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      Will & Testament User Guide

      This resource sets out how to complete the Will & Testament template. Always update you Will after a relationship breakdown………....
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    • Silver Resource
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      Draft Applicant Relationship Letter

      This resource sets out the Applicant’s approach in a de facto jurisdiction matter. It highlights the strategy used & much more…......
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    • Bronze Resource
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      Budget Worksheet

      This resource helps identify costs associated with living together as a couple & provides a fully editable budget….......
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    • Silver Resource
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      Draft List Of Discovery Documents

      This resource details a draft list of discovery documents requested by an Applicant in a de facto jurisdiction matter…......
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    • Silver Resource
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      Response to Draft Relationship Outline Letter

      This resource sets out the Respondent’s approach in a de facto jurisdiction matter. It highlights the strategy used & much more…......
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    • Gold Resource
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      Draft Applicant Response to Witness Affidavit

      This resource highlights the process involved in responding to a witness affidavit & includes tips for responding effectively…......
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