NSW Separation of Childless De Facto Couple - Property Settlement?

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14 September 2014
Three years ago my step daughter purchased a house. The deed and mortgage are in her name only and she paid all solicitors costs etc. Her de facto partner of 7 years moved in and paid $600 a month rent (inconsistently) but paid no rates etc. They have terminated the de facto relationship 1 year ago. However, because of his behaviour such as trashing the house, coming and going as he pleases (locks don't deter him) and threats of self harm etc, selling, reluctantly seems the best course of action, especially as I foolishly went guarantor.

The ex seems to think that she requires his permission to sell as they had been de facto. She already believes the right thing to do is to pay him half of any profit from the sale like a property settlement.

So my question is can she go ahead and sell without his permission?

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014


If your daughter in law is the only one on the title she can do what she pleases with the house.

Whether or not she decides to share the proceeds or not is up to her. However if her ex wants to fight her for some of the proceeds, he can bring an application requesting that the court divide the assets, and the court will then determine whether he is entitled to proceeds of the house sale and if so how much. Your daughter would also have an opportunity at such a hearing to give her evidence as to how much he paid and also how much damage he caused.

It is worth the money to have a family lawyer ensure that your property settlement is final and complete. You can have peace of mind that your daughter's dealings with her ex are finalised and he won't come back scratching for more later.