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How is property split when couples live together unmarried?

How is property split when couples live together unmarried?

Disputes over property between de facto spouses are dealt with under the De Facto Relationships Act 1996. These matters are heard in the South Australian courts, not the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Service. The Act applies to heterosexual relationships where the partners have lived together for at least three years or there is a child born to that relationship.

The Act only applies to relationships that ended on or after 16th December 1996 and were substantially based in South Australia. If your circumstances are different to these, seek legal advice.

A claim for property entitlement under the Act must be made within 12 months of the relationship ending, but in exceptional circumstances you can seek an extension of time. The court will make a decision using similar principles to how the Family Court decides property disputes between married persons. In making a decision, the court looks at the financial circumstances of each partner, contributions to the relationship (both financial and non-financial), and what any cohabitation agreement may say.

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