It is apparent from the 2015 divorce statistics released by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics, that Perth is seeing a rise in the
In 2015, 48,517 divorces were granted in Australia, which is a
4.3% increase from the 2014 results.
Western Australia had the largest increase in the number of
divorces granted in 2015, with a total of 4,992 divorces granted
which was an increase of 10.5%, from 2014.
Try before you buy
It is no secret that there has been an increase in cohabitation
prior to marriage over the last twenty years.
The University of Melbourne conducted the HILDA Survey on
Families, Incomes and Jobs, which was published in 2012. The
results showed that de facto couples were six times more likely to
separate than de facto couples who married after cohabitating.
There are many reasons why it is believed that there is a high
separation rate of de facto couples who do not get married, some of
which we have discussed below.
Parties are moving in together as part of the selection
process prior to marriage.
People are taking their time whilst cohabiting as a de facto
couple to get to know everything about one another before taking
the plunge into marriage.
Parties may tend to cohabitate for
With the ever increasing property market, lack of employment
opportunities and higher cost of living parties may seek to
cohabitate to cut the cost of every day life. Therefore the
decision to live as a de facto couple in many cases is a commercial
decision rather than a romantic one.
Weddings are costing a pretty penny
De facto couples may face a higher rate of separation due to the
increasing cost of a wedding in Australia. Data from the Australian
Securities and Investments Commission shows that the average cost
for a wedding in Australia is $36,200. Therefore, parties may
cohabitate longer in order to save for the expense of the wedding,
in some cases people may take years to save. This period of
extended cohabitation may ultimately lead to separation.
Alternatively, the financial pressure which the potential cost of a
wedding puts on parties may also cause relationship stress.
Living in a de facto relationship gives some parties a false
sense of security; with many holding the view that as long as they
are not married they are not likely to be subject to property
Unfortunately for many parties they only discover that they are
vulnerable to a property settlement claim following the demise of
their de facto relationship.
If you are currently living with a boyfriend or girlfriend and
your relationship fulfils one or more of these requirements, you
can be considered to be in a de facto relationship:
There has been a de facto relationship between the parties for
at least 2 years; There is a child of the relationship who is under
the age of 18 years and the failure of the Court to intervene to
make an order for property settlement would result in a serious
injustice for the partner caring for or responsible for the
The Applicant or person who is seeking property settlement has
made substantial contributions, these are not just financial
contributions, these contributions also include non-financial
contributions and contributions as the homemaker or parent;
In order for the Family Court of Western Australia to have
jurisdiction both parties must have lived in Western Australia for
one third of their relationship alternatively one of the parties
must have made their substantial contributions in Western
If you are in a defacto relationship and are concerned or unsure
about your entitlements as a de facto partner you should seek
specific advice from a specialist Family Lawyer.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The person named as an executor in the deceased's will has the right to arrange for the burial of the deceased's body.
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