Date: Jun 11, 2011
Document Type: Article

Previously in NSW the Property (Relationships) Act dealt with how to achieve a financial settlement arising out of the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

Under this legislation, de facto couples did not have an automatic right to maintenance from one another. Maintenance could only be claimed in limited circumstances, including where it was necessary for the maintenance to be paid to enable a party to undergo training so they could become gainfully employed, or where a party had the care of a child under the age of 16 years.

Since March 2009, in NSW financial settlements arising out of a de facto relationship are now dealt with under the Family Law Act. This legislation now creates an obligation upon de facto partners to provide financial support for one another, in the same way as with married couples. In the event that one de facto partner seeks maintenance from the other, that party will need to establish a need for the maintenance, and that the other party has the capacity to pay it. It is only then that a court will make an order that one party maintain the other, and usually for a limited period.

Contact our Managing Partner, Dominic Wilson on (02) 8268 4000 or by email at for friendly professional service.  Dominic will refer you to an Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer.

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