When a de facto or same sex relationship breaks down, the laws about dividing assets are similar to those that apply when a marriage breaks down. Separating de facto and same sex couples can agree on how assets are divided and record that in a separation agreement.
If the separation agreement complies with the legal requirements of a recognised agreement you will have the certainty that it would be very difficult for your ex-partner to make a claim against you later on. To be a recognised agreement the separation agreement must:
- Be in writing
- Be signed by both of the de facto partners
- Have each de facto partner’s signature witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (qualified) or solicitor
- Contain a statement of all significant property, financial resources and liabilities of each de facto spouse when the de facto spouse signs the agreement.
All assets – including jointly-owned assets and debts, separately-owned assets and debts and whether or not the assets were owned before your relationship started – must be included in the separation agreement.
How these assets are divided is not clearly defined and depends on your individual circumstances. Generally, the law takes into account the following:
- Assets and liabilities each of you brought to the relationship
- Contributions made by each of you during your relationship (both financial and non-financial)
- Care for a child, including a child of your relationship
- Circumstances during your relationship affecting the earning capacity of either of you
- Financial resources you each have (including superannuation).
Jones Mitchell Lawyers has years of experience and expertise working with couples separating from de facto and same sex relationships. We have a thorough knowledge of the Family Law Act and the latest state legislation to ensure your agreement is fair within the terms of the law.