The said-lifelong commitment of marriage effectively ‘entitles’ you and your partner to a property settlement. Basically, the relevant law (being the Family Law Act 1975) says that a Court can change how you and your partner hold property if you’re married.
What however, that means in terms of the outcome of dividing the assets of your relationship is something different.
Whilst you might be living with someone (so a boyfriend-girlfriend or same sex relationship) and not married, you may not automatically be entitled to a property settlement unless you satisfy one of the following:
- You and your partner have lived together for two years.
- You and your partner have a child together.
- One of you has made a ‘substantial contribution’ and the absence of a property settlement would result in a ‘serious injustice’.
- Your de facto relationship was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory (in Australia).
If you satisfy one of the above four, then yes, you may be entitled to a property settlement.
What would be an appropriate outcome for division of assets will all depend on a range of factors, such as the length of the relationship, what you/your partner brought in assets, debts and superannuation to the relationship, whether any monetary lump sums were received during the relationship, whether there are any children, your respective ages, respective employment statuses and incomes, along with many other considerations. If you’re interested in knowing what the range in the outcome would be (basically, what an appropriate division of the assets would look like if a Judge were to decide), you should get legal advice. The legal advice that would be provided would be specific to your circumstances
We can provide you with legal advice about what an appropriate outcome might be. We cannot give your partner independent legal advice. They would nevertheless, be entitled to seek their own from another lawyer.