De Facto Relationships and Their Legal Standing

Family Law Firm in BrisbaneDe facto relationships are often considered as one of the most confusing aspects of family law. And this can become a problem for cases dealing with the matter. In this article, you will learn about such relationships and how they affect legal matters relating to family.

What is a de facto relationship?

In its simplest definition, a de facto relationship is a marital setup where a couple is not yet legally married but is living as if they are. When determining if a couple can already be considered as being in a de facto relationship, time is the biggest deciding factor. In most states, the status is granted when a couple is already living together for at least two years, though the rule can be waived if they already have a child.

However, the court might also look at other factors. Notably, it will determine if there is indeed an existing sexual relationship between you and your spouse. How your relationship is perceived by the public at large can also be considered.

Note that the status of a de facto relationship is not achieved through a formal ceremony. Rather, it is automatically given to a couple who has met the necessary requirements. However, not all countries recognise such an arrangement, which is something to consider when moving abroad.

Legal Questions

As couples living under such a setup are recognised by the law as husband and wife, they are accorded similar rights as those enjoyed by married couples. For instance, during the death of your spouse, you are entitled to receive compensation if he has died during employment. You will also be allowed to file a claim for financial assistance under the appropriate law.

If you and your spouse are separating, property distribution can become an issue as well. Hence, some couples seek help from family law firms in Brisbane and draw up financial agreements early in their union. Alternatively, if there are signs that the relationship might be falling apart, the couple can come to a separation agreement. These agreements must be signed and consented by both parties.

And as a piece of final advice, it would be best for an unmarried couple to consult a family law expert even if their relationship is going smoothly. This will help sort out any question that might come about their relationship later.