SA Family Law and De Facto Relationship - What Am I Entitled to?

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22 November 2015
Hi all,

Living in South Australia, I entered into a relationship with my partner 7 years ago. A year from when we started dating, we looked for and bought a house together and when the paperwork was about to be done, he took my name off the title.

We broke up for 6 months at that point and then got back together and I moved into said house with my partner. The last five years we have remained in a de facto relationship. I resigned from my job to have a child (who is now 4) and remained a homemaker, etc, and studied a degree (of which I am almost finished). We sold the property and we are now renting. The money made from the sale of the property my partner invested.

I want to leave the relationship, it has broken down tremendously.

Q1. Am I entitled to any of the money made from the sale of the property which is now invested?

Q2. What sort of % of finances roughly will I receive given the de facto relationship is roughly 6 years long in property settlement and I have not had an earning capacity and quit my job to be a homemaker, etc?

Any legal information under family law regarding the situation I would welcome.



Hi Julz99,

Based on the nature of the relationship you have described, it's more than likely it would be recognised as a de facto relationship for the purposes of making a claim for property settlement with the Family Court. Generally a de facto relationship must exist for two years or there must be a child of the relationship.

However, there are no hard and fast rules which are applied by the court as to who is entitled to what, because each couple's circumstances are so different. It applies a type of loose formula to determine what each party is entitled to which you can read about in these posts.

WA - Fair Share Split for Property Settlement After Separation? |
Property Settlement After Separation - Agree Now, Don't Pay Later - Legal Blog -

Generally, it obtains the total of assets, then looks at each party's financial and non-financial contributions and each party's future needs to evaluate what is fair and equitable. That means that the court will consider the fact that you were a mother and homemaker and not penalise you for not making financial contributions to the relationship. It will also take into account the costs of raising your child if you will have custody.

And not having your name on the title of the property would not preclude you from getting a share. The court can apportion real property notwithstanding who is or is not on the title.