Leading De Facto Relationship Lawyers in Sydney

Maatouks Law Group has been at the forefront of legal advice and representation to the community of Sydney and its neighbouring suburbs. We have experts who specialise in all areas of the law – corporate law, family law, criminal law, traffic law, insurance law, property law, building and construction law and more.

We are equipped to handle all kinds of legal matters and assist you thoroughly. With offices located in Liverpool, Narellan, Penrith and the Sydney CBD, our services are spread over a wide area. No matter the complexity of the case, we always treat every case individually and every client with courtesy and respect. Our 30 years of experience have helped us create a bond of trust between our legal team and the clients.


De Facto Relationship

When you live with a partner of the same or the opposite sex, under one roof and have a relationship with them without being married, it is a de facto relationship. To be legally recognised as a de facto relationship, the couple would have to be living together for a minimum of two years without any separation in between. The partners involved in a de facto relationship have the same rights as a married couple. From the settlement of property, spousal maintenance, parenting rights and child support, de facto partners can make similar claims as the partners in a marriage would in case of separation or divorce.


Your De Facto Relationship Lawyer in Sydney

A breakup of any kind of relationship comes with loads of legal complexities and a de facto relationship is huge in terms of the legalities of separation and the paperwork involved. Though the rights enjoyed by the parties are just as for a married couple, they have to go to extra lengths to prove their claims during separation. De facto couples need to prove that they have been in a continuous relationship for a minimum of two years, they have a child from this relationship, significant contributions were made by the party, etc.


With such a level of profundity, it is not easy to get a resolution in the separation of de facto partners. Hence, you need professional legal assistance and who better than Maatouks to handhold you through such a complicated process. We have a team of legal experts in various areas of family law including de facto relationships. We can assist you with ample counselling and legal representation in your best interests. We inform you of all the options available so that you can make an educated choice.


Frequently Asked Questions


How can I protect my money from a de facto relationship?

To protect your money and assets from being taken away when you separate from your de facto partner, you would have to have a plan right from the time you entered into the relationship. A Binding Financial Agreement is the best way to accomplish this though it is not mandatory. A de facto couple may agree from the beginning to keep their respective finances separate. There should be no joint accounts, no joint ownership of properties and no joint financial planning for the future (joint savings or investments). Each one should be responsible for their own debts and be independent of the other in making financial decisions. If there is such a level of distinction in the financial engagements of each, your assets can be protected even without any Binding Financial Agreement.


Are the partners in a de facto relationship entitled to half?

It is a myth that de facto partners are entitled to half the assets. When de facto partners separate their assets are split according to the terms and conditions they have agreed to before entering into the relationship. In case of the absence of such agreements, the assets are divided between the two based on several factors like whether the assets were purchased before or during the relationship, how much each partner has contributed financially, how long has the relationship been, etc. To know specifically how your assets will be divided, speak to one of our legal experts.


What are you entitled to in a de facto relationship?

As a de facto partner, you are entitled to everything that a spouse is in case of a dissolution of a marriage. Spousal maintenance, child support, division of assets, etc., everything that applies to a spouse applies to a de facto partner. To learn more about this, contact us.

How long before a de facto relationship is legal?

To categorise a relationship under the de facto bracket, a couple has to be in a relationship for a minimum of two years or should have a child from the relationship.

How are de facto relationships determined by the Court?

To prove your de facto relationship in Court, you would have to provide ample evidence of your relationship. The factors that determine the nature of the relationship are:

  • Nature of the household
  • Financial and social aspects of the relationship
  • Presence or absence of a sexual relationship
  • Nature of commitment


Depending on the evidence provided for the above factors, the Court can decide whether your relationship is de facto or not.

What happens when a de facto relationship breaks down?

When a de facto relationship breaks, there is no mandatory legal implication like a divorce or legal separation. However, when there is a property to be split or any kind of financial encumbrance, there needs to be legal interference.

What are the important time limitations for de facto relationships?

To be legally recognised as a de facto couple, you must have been in the relationship for at least two years. Similarly, when you decide to part ways, you must file your claim for your share of the assets within two years from the date of separation.


What are the first steps I need to take to separate from my de facto partner?

There is no legal separation required for a de facto relationship. Only when there are financial matters or asset divisions involved, you may need to file for your claims within two years from the date of separation. In that case, you would have to contact a de facto relationship lawyer to get legal guidance.


We live in the same house but in separate bedrooms. Are we still considered a de facto couple?

To be in a de facto relationship, the partners involved do not have to necessarily live together under the same roof. So irrespective of whether you live in the same bedroom or separate bedrooms, you would be considered a de facto couple if you are in a relationship.


Do I have to wait after separating before I can start another de facto relationship?

There is no binding requirement or a prescribed waiting period between two de facto relationships.


Can I claim spousal maintenance even though I am not married to my partner?

De facto partners are also entitled to spousal maintenance. So irrespective of your marital status, you can claim spousal maintenance.


What happens to the property owned by the people in a de facto relationship?

The property owned by the people in a de facto relationship is divided among the two parties based on the agreement prior to the relationship. If there is no such agreement, then the property will be divided based on several factors.


Should I see a lawyer before I separate from my de facto partner?

It is mandatory to see a lawyer who specialises in de facto relationships before separating from your de facto partner. Especially so when there are financial factors involved like the division of assets and wealth. In such cases the process is lengthy, and you would need legal guidance at every step.