De Facto Relationship… Are You In One?

De Facto Relationship… Are You In One?

In Queensland, a de facto relationship exists where two people live together as a couple without being married: section 32DA(1) Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld).

Straightforward….unfortunately not….there is nothing simple when it comes to defining what constitutes a “de facto” relationship.

There are dozens of legislative provisions across all Australian jurisdictions which complicate the definition.  Notwithstanding this, there may be many reasons why a person will want to prove or disprove a de facto relationship exists at law.

So what factors show that a de facto relationship exists?

When courts are deciding upon whether a de facto relationship exists they will weigh up a number of relevant factors.

Relevant factors are outlined in section 32DA(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld) and may include:

  1. The length of time you have lived together;
  2. The length of time you have been in a relationship;
  3. Whether an intimate relationship exists;
  4. The degree to which you are financially dependent on each other;
  5. Whether you own property jointly;
  6. Whether you contribute to mortgage payments of property;
  7. Whether you care for and support each other;
  8. If you care for and support your mutual children or your partner’s children;
  9. If you undertake household tasks; and
  10. If you are publicly known to be a couple or a de facto partner.

It is more likely that you are a de facto partner where more of these factors are met and these factors have been met for a long period of time.

Courts may find that a de facto relationship exists where all or only some or of these factors are present. Furthermore, the above factors do not constitute an exclusive list and the Court can take into account other circumstances which it deems relevant.

How do you give your partner an ability to act on your behalf?

Sometime de facto spouses have difficulty acting on their partner’s behalf when the other partner is unwell or overseas. To overcome this, you can enter into an Enduring Power of Attorney or use workers compensation southern california orange county. This allows your partner to either make decisions on your behalf for financial and/or personal/health matters in the event you cannot make those decisions yourself.

How do you protect your assets?

If you believe you are in a de facto relationship or are concerned about protecting your assets, you can enter into a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA). A BFA is a form of a pre-nuptial agreement and allows you and your partner to determine how your assets will be distributed in the event of your separation.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above matters, including arranging a will, power of attorney or binding financial agreement, please do not hesitate to contact Ben Olsen of Olsen Lawyers on (07) 3846 5288 for a confidential,  no obligation discussion.

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