QLD De Facto Relationship Gone Ugly - Ex Wants Half

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David Coram

16 November 2014
Hi, just stopped a de facto relationship that has been on and off over the past 2.5 years and now it has gone ugly. Paid for everything while she claimed the doll. Now she wants half my stuff furniture, pets, superannuation while she has already taken all her stuff.

Does she have the right to do this? Started over the cat was hers and she has dumped him so many times I've been looking after him the whole time.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi David,

There are quite a few threads on this forum on separation and financial settlements. I suggest doing a quick search and reading through them.

This is taken from "Separation - How much is fair to split with ex?":

The aim is to ensure a fair, just and reasonable division of assets. The Family Law Court's guidelines is a good starting point:

"The general principles for a court to settle financial disputes under the Family Law Act are based on:

  • working out what you've got and what you owe; that is, your assets (including superannuation) and debts and what they are worth
  • looking at the direct and indirect financial contributions to the marriage/de facto relationship, such as wage and salary earnings
  • looking at indirect financial contributions such as gifts and inheritance from families
  • looking at the non-financial contributions to the marriage/de facto relationship such as caring for children and homemaking
  • factors such as standard of living during the marriage/de facto relationship and the length of the marriage/de facto relationship
  • future requirements, including things like age, health
  • future resources, including financial resources, care of children and ability to earn, child support which is being or is likely to be paid, the financial situation of someone with whom you are now cohabiting, any legal obligation to support other people in the household.
You can read the law which outlines these factors in Section 75 and Section 79 and Part VIIIAB of the Family Law Act 1975. In addition, the Court, as far as practicable, is to make orders which will finalise the financial relationship between the parties (Section 81 of the Family Law Act)."

All assets (excluding those held on trust for third parties) are looked at. This includes both joint and separate (individually owned) assets."


Hi David,

Whether or not you would be covered under the Family Court regime as outlined by Sarah above, will depend on whether you meet a few criteria. Based on the information you have provided it appears as though you may, however here are a few things to think about.

To be considered a de facto couple under the Family Law Act, you need to satisfy all of the below:
  1. must have a geographical connection to Qld, NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT or NT after 1 March 2009 or SA from 1 July 2010;
  2. must be in a genuine de facto relationship (requires that you are not related through family and intention to live as couple etc)
  3. must have have separated after 1 March 2009 (or 1 July 2010 if you are in SA)
You must also satisfy ONE of the below criteria:
  1. there's a child in the relationship
  2. one of the parties made a substantial financial or non financial contribution to the relaitonship
  3. the relationship is registered
  4. the duration of the relationship was either a continuous 2 year period, or made up of more than one separate period which when added together total 2 years.
If you do not satisfy the relevant criteria and are not covered by the Family Law Act, then you will have recourse to state laws which enable alteration of property interests.