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24 July 2008 Topics: Family law

On 25 June 2008, the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill 2008 (Cth) was introduced into Federal Parliament. The Bill proposes to amend the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to allow for the resolution and determination of financial matters arising from the breakdown of a de facto relationship by the Commonwealth Family Law Courts.

At present, Queensland separated de facto couples’ property settlement entitlements are dealt with under the Property Law Act. Historically, property settlement awards to de facto spouses have been less generous than those granted to married couples. You may have clients who have chosen not to marry for this reason.

However the draft amendments provide that a virtually identical regime will apply to all couples in domestic relationships in Australia in the event of separation– married or single, heterosexual or same sex.

The changes will also give de facto spouses the ability to seek Orders from the Court for de facto spousal maintenance and the splitting of either party’s superannuation – remedies not currently available under the Queensland de facto legislation.

If you have any queries regarding this issue or would like to discuss any other matters related to family law, please feel free to contact a member of our Family Law team on (07) 3231 2444.

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This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please let us know.