Steps in De Facto Separation?

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29 July 2014
ive been in a de facto relationship for the past 30 years and we have two adult children in their early 20's that are living at home.
the relationship had been deteriorating for the last 5 years but the last attempt to resolve the issues/ the end of the relationship was almost two years ago.

my partner did not want me to work from the time we had our first child which has meant he has had financial control over everything throughout the relationship.

there are a couple of investment properties with one being my future residence however my ex parter keeps delaying/ prolonging the settlement of property.

I cannot wait any longer to move on however I cannot speak to him without fear as he can be very aggressive and he has made it clear that no one can force him into giving me anything so that I can have my own life.

i just want to know where to begin the process of separation, do i see any lawyer? what if my ex patner will not agree? and given that we have investment properties in joint names; if he does not want to sell them how will i get my share ?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
A 30-year relationship is very significant so you will have entitlements, often to the effect of majority since your future working capacity has been affected by a prolonged absence from the workforce and you were responsible for making house.

If you have properties in both names and he doesn't sell, he will have to buy you out.

I would advise contacting Legal Aid, who can offer you free legal advice about this situation and what direction you should go from here. If you find the legal system daunting, then it may be an idea to prepare for the possibility that you may need to engage a solicitor. Check with Legal Aid to find out if property matters are covered by legal aid funding when you call them, as well.
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Hi June.aj,

Further to AllforHer's comments above, there is a great deal of information on the Federal Court Website with regard to separation and financial orders for de facto couples.

Since 2009, parties to a de facto relationship can have their financial matters determined by the Family Court in the same way as married couples. However, be aware, that you must
apply for de facto financial orders within two years of the breakdown of your relationship. After this time you need the Court's permission to apply. This maybe something you need to seek advice about. The court can adjust your interests in properties that you jointly own and make orders for maintenance if necessary.

Refer to the fact sheet on the Family Law website: Property division when de facto relationships break down – new Commonwealth law for separating de facto couples. http://www.familyearelationships.go...ivisionwhendefactorelationshipsbreakdown.aspx, which will give you information about whether you are eligible to make an application for financial matters.

HOpe that helps