De Facto and Same Sex Relationships
In Western Australia, a de facto relationship, depending on the nature, is one defined as that which exists between two consenting adults, has lasted for two or more years, there is financial dependence, shared ownership of property, and can include same-sex couples. Whilst marriage is governed by Federal (or Commonwealth) laws, de facto relationships in Western Australia are governed by state laws.
In the unfortunate circumstance that the relationship should dissolve, the parties have up to two years to apply for property division. If a property settlement cannot be arranged, the Family Court of Western Australia can divide the property and assets under a binding financial agreement between the parties.
At this point in time, de facto couples are not entitled to split superannuation upon dissolution of the relationship however it will be taken into consideration by the court when assessing property and assets for division.
Should one party in a de facto relationship die, even in the absence of a will (whilst not an ideal situation), the other party is entitled to claim on the estate of the deceased partner. For any further information regarding de facto, same sex couples, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.