separation and property

Dating or De Facto: What's the difference?

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court have jurisdiction to deal with the property of de facto couples who have separated. Separated couples however may not be sure whether they are ‘entitled’ to a property settlement, depending on whether or not they were living with their former partner.

So, you may ask, what is the difference between a de facto couple, as compared to a couple who has been dating?

Duty of Disclosure: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

Separated couples negotiating a property settlement have obligations to provide complete disclosure of their financial circumstances.

The duty is not only to your former partner, but the duty also extends to the Court itself. Pursuant to Rule 13.04 of the Family Law Rules and Rule 24.03 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules, parties must make full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances.

Property Settlements: The “Four” Step Approach

The Full Court of the Family Court has adopted an approach which is applied during Court proceedings involving property matters.  Lawyers giving advice about reasonable outcomes in a property matter use this process as a guide to advise clients about what they are entitled to.