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148405 - The Family Courts approach to the circumstances of a de facto relationship.pdf (154.18 kB)

The Family Court’s approach to the ‘circumstances’ of a de facto relationship

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 05:02 authored by Fernando, M, Olivia RundleOlivia Rundle
This article examines how the Family Court views the circumstances of relationships when deciding whether two people were in a ‘de facto relationship’ for the purposes of post-separation financial proceedings. The core of the statutory definition of a de facto relationship is ‘a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis’, to be identified by examining ‘all the circumstances’ of the relationship. By looking at all of the cases where the Family Court has determined this issue, the authors examined the court’s approach to relationship ‘circumstances’, such as common residence and financial interdependence. The authors found that the court relies heavily on the circumstances listed in the Family Law Act, but that certain circumstances are more indicative of a de facto relationship than others, and there is a lack of clarity about what is required to satisfy some circumstances. The authors make suggestions of how the law might be improved so that parties have greater certainty about how their relationship circumstances may be viewed if they separate.

History

Publication title

Australian Journal of Family Law

Volume

34

Pagination

181-210

ISSN

0817-623X

Department/School

Faculty of Law

Publisher

LexisNexis Butterworths

Place of publication

Australia

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 LexisNexis Butterworths

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Families and family services; Law reform

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