How to manage money when you live with your partner

Your Relationship & Money

Whether moving in with someone or combining finances, it is smart to go into love and money matters with your eyes open especially when a key consideration is protecting assets in a de facto relationship. Talk with your new partner in detail about your money philosophy and discuss de facto property settlement options should your relationship breakdown.

Protecting assets in a de facto relationshipMost people hate talking about money - it is one of the top three things that both married & de facto couples fight about. However setting a good financial foundation will benefit you in the long run. Given de facto rights to property you simply need to be careful. Otherwise you may find yourself selling a hard earned asset to subsidise a de facto relationship property adjustment.

Money matters because of the expectations that come with it, and because of the way it dictates not only what you can do with your life, but what your limitations are as a couple. If you ever decide to join financial forces, sometimes one person’s wants are subsumed by what's best for both of you.

Naturally, having an open dialogue about money is crucial but equally important is discussing what would happen on the event your relationship breaks down. By discussing things like your de facto property rights and giving thought to a potential de facto property settlement prior to a break down of the relationship can provide you with clarity & peace of mind.

When you're in a serious relationship with someone, it's not unusual for most of your money to become "group money". This doesn't always happen; Some couples go through their relationships and even marriages with near complete financial independence, which is great if that's what you want. But for so many couples, money becomes a more vaguely joint effort as the relationship moves forward. This often passive transition to interwoven finances strengthens both parties de facto rights to property.

There are real consequences to this: If you live together, you need to pay rent, bills, buy a new couch, silverware, etc. Your financial priorities become the relationship's financial priorities. While it's definitely still okay to spend money on yourself, really big purchases have to be discussed jointly. Sure, you can buy yourself that $190 handbag on sale, but if you want the $2000 handbag, unless you're wealthy, there might need to be a discussion about it first (considering for most that's, more than a whole month's rent). These items purchased together with “joint funds” become subject to a de facto relationship property adjustment should the relationship end.

Do you see where we are going with this? How you deal with your money as a couple needs to be given careful consideration as it has a very real impact on de facto rights to property and any potential de facto relationship property adjustment should your relationship end. You also need to keep in mind that how you go about protecting assets in a de facto relationship will impact how you deal with money & assets as a couple. This is a key factor in de facto property settlement outcomes.

In this section of the site we talk about protecting assets in a de facto relationship in the event of a relationship breakdown, outline ideas to help you engage in open dialogue about money with your partner & much more. It’s all designed to help get you heading in the right direction as a couple without a surprise de facto relationship property adjustment you didn’t see coming should your relationship end.

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 protecting assets in a de facto relationship & potential de facto property settlement outcomes should you decide to merge your finances as a couple. Scroll through the resources below or click through to the resources tab and filter based on your areas 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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      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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      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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      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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      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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      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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      Binding Child Support Agreement Template

      This resource enables parents to document child support arrangements & includes instructions for completion…......
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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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      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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      Limited Child Support Agreement Template

      This resource enables parents to document child support arrangements & review them every 3 years…......
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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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      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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      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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      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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      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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      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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      Budget Worksheet

      This resource helps identify costs associated with living together as a couple & provides a fully editable budget….......
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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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      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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