THERE ARE CERTAIN GEOGRAPHICAL REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE SATISFIED IN ORDER FOR SOMEONE WHO WAS FORMERLY IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP (INCLUDING A SAME SEX RELATIONSHIP) TO MAKE AN APPLICATION TO THE FAMILY COURT OF WA FOR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT ORDERS.
- At least one of the parties must be resident in WA on the day on which the application was made; and
- Both parties must have resided in WA for at least one third of their relationship, or the applicant must have made substantial contributions in WA (which includes financial contributions as well as non-financial contributions such as homemaker and parenting contributions)
IN ADDITION TO THE GEOGRAPHICAL REQUIREMENTS, THERE ARE OTHER JURISDICTIONAL REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE MET FOR A PERSON FORMERLY IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP TO BE ELIGIBLE TO MAKE A CLAIM TO THE FAMILY COURT OF WA FOR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT.
- The parties must have been in a de facto relationship for at least two years; or
- There is a child of the de facto relationship who is under 18 and serious injustice would be caused to the partner caring for the child if an order was not made; or
- The de facto partner making the application made substantial contributions and failure to make an Order would result in serious injustice to that partner.
IN WA, A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE WHO LIVE TOGETHER IN A "MARRIAGE-LIKE RELATIONSHIP".
The following are indicators of whether or not a de facto relationship exists between two people:
- the length of the relationship between them;
- whether the two persons have resided together;
- the nature and extent of common residence;
- whether there is, or has been, a sexual relationship between them;
- the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
- the ownership, use, and acquisition of their property (including property they own individually);
- the degree of mutual commitment by them to a shared life;
- whether they care for and support children; and
- the reputation, and public aspects, of the relationship between them.
It does not matter whether the parties are of the same sex or if either of them is legally married to someone else.
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.