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Defacto Relationships Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

Upon the dissolution of marriage property has to be taken into consideration of who gets what. This is called property settlement. The property includes all property of the partnership no matter whose name it is in. The term property includes houses, units and land but that is not all furniture, cars boats shares and even superannuation can be divided up amongst the two parties.The scheme of the family law act is to encourage agreement in property settlement this is where counselling and mediation can help. Once an agreement is reached it can be formalised in consent orders, or financial agreements.In the existence of no agreement being reached then an application to the family court can be made and then the property will be settled in court.The court will take in some factors before deciding on the allocation of property. These include the contributions that each person has made to the marriage. They could be previously owned property or shares, money made during the marriage gifts or inheritances. If one party does not work then consideration will be made for homemaking and parenting. In today's society there is a large sway toward the parenting and homemaking because you simply can't put a price on it. Once the court has looked at past contributions they will look at future needs. These are determined by the party's potential earning power, health, children or their superannuation.Because of the present system under the Family Law Act: 1975 (Commonwealth) the no fault component of the law covers the party who filed for divorce against unbalanced property distribution. The only other key factor that would differ the courts decision is a pre-nuptial agreement and in that case the agreement would come out first and then followed by the allocation of property.However in the case of a de facto relationship the property settlement is slightly different. Instead of entering into a pre-nuptial agreement de facto relationships enter into cohabitation agreements. This is to act as insurance in the event of the relationship breaking down. This would be a well planned step as 2 out of every 5 de facto couples end up separating (Hartley family law).In Queensland the State law provides separating de facto couple (including same sex couples) a right to obtain property in state courts. They must have:Separated after 21 December 1999They were genuinely in a de facto relation ship; ANDThey lived together for at least 2 years; ORThere is a child in the relationship under 18; ORFailure to make an order would result in serious injustice to the party who made financial or non-financial improvements, including parenting to the other party's propertySo therefore the separation of property in the case of a de facto relationship is much the same as a married couple.Once a married party has decided to separate they may apply for a divorce or in some cases where the marriage is declared void then they would be granted an annulment. An annulment is a court order stating...

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