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After separating from a de facto partner it is important to ensure your affairs are reviewed and updated to reflect the change in your relationship status. Issues to consider include:

  • Does your Will need updating?
  • Does your superannuation beneficiary nomination need to be changed?
  • Are you entitled to spousal maintenance payments from your ex-partner?
  • Are you entitled to child support payments from your ex-partner?
  • How will you divide up your joint assets?
  • Do you have joint bank accounts or agreements that need changing/ending?

Are there costs associated with de facto separations?

Depending on your individual circumstances there may be costs associated with formalising your separation, including:

  • The cost of transferring real estate and vehicles (although transfers in family law matters are largely exempt from the usual duties and transfer fees);
  • Legal fees for negotiating agreements and drafting relevant documents.

If you are unable to reach an agreement you will need to file an application in the Family Court for property and/or parenting orders.  It is imperative that you seek legal advice from a family law solicitor before filing any documents in court.  You should also be aware that it is compulsory, subject to certain exceptions, for parties to participate in mediation before the court will allow proceedings to commence.

Are you eligible for spousal maintenance?

To be eligible for spousal maintenance you need to show:

  1. You are unable to adequately financially support yourself (i.e. due to caring for children); and
  2. Your spouse is able to pay for the maintenance.

Time limits apply – you must file an application for spousal maintenance within two years of separation.

This is general information only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office at or call us on 1800 609 945.

*This information serves as a general guide and does not constitute legal advice. It is based on our research and experience at the time of publication. Please consult our knowledgeable legal team for any specific inquiries or advice relevant to your circumstances, as the content may not have been updated subsequently