About Me

Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

Welcome to my blog. This blog is dedicated to helping anyone who is currently in the midst of a liability issue. A few years ago, my daughter contracted listeria due to poorly packaged food. She, thankfully, was okay, but we still took her case to court. I want all families who have been affected by liability issues to understand their rights, so I decided to start this blog. My beautiful daughter is now 17 and preparing to start uni next year. I have three younger children as well and an amazing husband. Thank you for reading my blog. Please share my posts if they help you!

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Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

When the End of a De Facto Relationship Is More Like a Divorce

by Liesanne Martin

You end a relationship by simply breaking up with the other person (ideally as kindly as possible). You end a marriage by filing for divorce, once the necessary criteria for divorce have been met. But how do you end a de facto relationship? 

Together But Unmarried

The Australian Family Law Act of 1975 defines a de facto relationship as two people (who are not family) living together on a genuine domestic basis without being married. There is no obligation for the relationship to be registered in any way. Essentially anyone who moves in with their partner could be considered to be in a de facto relationship. The relationship might be like a marriage in every conceivable way, and while you and your partner may not have taken this step, it's possible (and perhaps even necessary) for a de facto relationship to be dissolved in a manner quite similar to divorce.

A Long-Term Relationship

Sometimes the end of a de facto relationship is as straightforward as informing the other party that your relationship is over. While it might sound a bit savage that a committed relationship, one that may have existed for years, can be brought to an end so bluntly, this is the process for many de facto relationships. However, with a long-term relationship, there might be numerous considerations that must be formalised before the obligations of both parties can be thought of as fulfilled.

Formal Mediation 

When you and your partner were together for several years, many aspects of your life were shared. This can include finances and material assets. You may also have had children together. Similar to a divorce, these matters are preferably resolved during mediation, formalising the division of assets and custody arrangements for any children. The same process can be utilised after the end of a de facto relationship.

Get the Right Assistance 

During mediation, you should strongly consider hiring a family law solicitor. Since the end of a de facto relationship can be less black and white than a divorce, it's beneficial to have some professional help to navigate the process, ensuring that all your rights and obligations are addressed. Ideally, it won't escalate to legal action, but you also have the right to pursue certain financial matters through the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court. 

The end of some de facto relationships can be just like a breakup, but sometimes it's more similar to a divorce.