Breakdown of a de facto union
If you and your spouse are in a de facto union, the rules on family patrimony do not apply. As a result, you have no obligation to divide your property into two equal shares if you decide to separate.
However, you can ensure that your property will be divided fairly by setting out the rules in a cohabitation agreement or separation agreement.
If you have a cohabitation agreement, you and your de facto spouse will have to abide by the rules it contains if you decide to separate. If one of you fails to comply with the rules, the other spouse can sue to enforce compliance.
You and your spouse can also sign a separation agreement to establish, if you ever separate:
- how your property will be divided;
- who will have custody of your children;
- how much child support will be paid for your children.
To draw up an agreement with your spouse, you can ask for assistance from:
- a family mediator;
- a lawyer.
If you have an agreement, and if all else fails, you can then submit your case to the courts.