You may ask yourself – what happens to my assets in a de facto relationship in Queensland? 

DeFacto couples are seen as a legally represented relationship in the eyes of the law, although you don’t have the exact same stipulations as a married couple who separate, you are still in a position whereby assets, including cars, property, businesses and investments are in a position where by they need to be divided and each party has a level of entitlement to these assets depending on a range of circumstances. 

You can choose to achieve this amicably which is always the most ideal outcome, or if necessary via the courts if an agreement cannot be reached, they can issue financial court orders.

What Happens to Property/Properties and Assets?

In Queensland, you are entitled to your Defacto partner’s assets if you separate – you need to agree to this amicably or via the courts. 

Shared assets are separated when a married couple divorces and there are stringent legal aspects that are taken into consideration during the divorce process. In contrast, when unmarried (DeFacto) couples separate, their combined property remains undivided, it can be done by verbal agreement. But to be clear each party is potentially entitled to some portion of the assets, however, the value or percentage of this is merited against a range of factors. 

When dividing property, a court considers both parties’ financial and non-financial contributions. It will also consider any differences in your future earning potential, your responsibilities to care for the children and the amount of money you and your ex-spouse made.

Moreover, you have two years from your separation date to submit a claim for property settlement. In other words, you have two years from the end of your relationship to petition the court for property division orders. This could be a great benefit, especially if a child or children is from that relationship.

Why Collaboration Agreements Are So Important If You Separate?

Live-in partners do not have the same level of legal recourse available to them as a married couple will have, a collaboration agreement or live-in partner agreement will provide a written agreement between the two parties in the event of a separation.

This is a document that needs to be signed off on by both parties. Incorporating a solicitor into the process is highly recommended as they can act as an intermediary in the negotiations but also provide a level of legal clout to the agreement, in the event court proceeding take place after the relationship ends.


Living together has a lot of advantages, but it also has its disadvantages. In most states, you give up some of your rights to your spouse and are also not eligible for some of the benefits that married couples are entitled to. 

Although it is not the same as being married, being unmarried does not mean you are unprotected from the legal responsibilities and complications that surface during a separation or divorce.

The best way to protect yourself is to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. If you don’t know where to start, find a law firm or a solicitor specialising in your area’s divorce and family law.

Springfield Legals is a reliable firm if you’re looking for family lawyers with expertise in this course. We specialise in family law, property and business conveyancing, income protection, and succession planning. Contact us now!