FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT (DEFACTO FINANCIAL MATTERS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008- WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
The Family Law Amendment (De facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008 received royal assent on 21 November 2008.
This Act affects de facto couples as a new Part VIIIAB deals with declarations, maintenance and property adjustments between defacto couples from 1 March 2009.
The provisions cover both homosexual and heterosexual couples. Couples must have separated on a final basis after 1 March 2009 or if before then both spouses need to agree to “opt into” the new regime. Couples must be ordinarily resident in the jurisdiction and either live together for at least two years or there is a child of the relationship or the Applicant has made substantial contributions to the property to a sufficient extent to cause a serious injustice if no Order was made. There is a two year limit on claims from the date of separation however leave can be granted to bring an Application outside of that time if it can be shown that the Applicant would suffer hardship.
Orders declaring interests in property will be similar to the provisions in s75(2) and s79 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The Act provides for de facto maintenance and allow de facto couples to be brought into the superannuation splitting regime. Orders and injunctions are also permitted against third parties pursuant to Part VIIIAA off the Act. Financial Agreements are also able to be entered into by de facto couples either prior to, after the commencement and after separation.