De facto and same sex separation agreements

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.

For more information about separation agreements or cohabitation agreements, visit our same sex relationship FAQs or contact us to speak with one of our experienced Jones Mitchell family lawyers.