Understanding the legal definition of a de facto relationship is crucial when considering property settlements. Does living together for a few months count in the eyes of the law? Are you eligible for a property settlement once the relationship ends?

The court generally makes property orders for de facto relationships if:

– The relationship lasted two years

– The relationship resulted in a child

– A failure to make a property order would cause “serious injustice” to one party

Today, we determine whether a 16-month relationship qualified as a de facto relationship under the law in Adesso and Peyton. The woman involved claimed she made a “substantial contribution” and that not receiving a property settlement would be a “serious injustice.” She had a child from a previous relationship, and during their time together, her partner supported her and her child financially, including school fees, weekly expenses, holidays, and clearing her debt.

The woman argued her contributions were significant, including:

– Assisting with her partner’s business bookkeeping;

– Maintaining and improving the home’s garden;

– Acting as the primary homemaker while her partner worked;

– Overseeing renovations of a house owned by her partner’s mother.

The judge had to decide if her contributions were more than ordinary and if not making an order would cause serious injustice. While recognising her efforts, the judge noted the financial support she received and the short duration of the relationship. He concluded her contributions did not qualify as “substantial” and ruled against a significant property order in her favour.

For more information on entitlements after a de facto relationship or other family law matters, make an appointment at GLG Legal Springfield, by contacting us at (07) 3288 3511 or info@springfieldlegals.com.au.