De facto relationships and family law

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on De facto relationships and family law in the AIFS library catalogue

Australian master family law guide.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2019.
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. Sections include: children; property; financial agreements; financial support for children; de facto relationships; and court processes, evidence and costs - all updated to reflect amendments and case law interpretations since the 2017 edition. Chapters include: Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts; Legal practice matters: client interview and drafting affidavits; Divorce; Shared parental responsibility; Dispute resolution and family relationship centres; Parenting orders, plans and guidelines; Principles the court must consider when conducting child-related proceedings; Major long-term issues (including paternity testing, changing a child's name, and relocation); Child abduction; Order enforcement and non-compliance in children's cases; Children and relationship factors (including drug use, family violence and child abuse, parental alienation syndrome); Surrogacy; Property; Maintenance; Bankruptcy and third parties; Corporations and trusts; Taxation considerations; Property orders; Superannuation; Financial agreements; Child support and maintenance; De facto relationships; Evidence; Court procedure; and Costs.

Australian Family Law Act 1975 with regulations and rules : current as at 22 March 2018.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, Wolters Kluwer, 2019.
This book provides a full consolidation of the Family Law Act 1975, incorporating all amendments up to 22 March 2018, together with the Family Law Rules 2004, Family Law Regulations 1984, and the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001. Since the last edition, various amendments have been made to wording, numbering, and to the Rules: more substantial changes have been made through redefining marriage to include same-sex couples and the increase in the ability of the courts to make family violence orders through the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence & Other Measures) Act.

The consequences of extending equitable property division divorce laws to cohabitants

Chigavazira A, Fisher H, Robinson T and Zhu A
Indooroopilly, Qld. : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2019.
From March 2009, unmarried couples were granted the same post-separation financial rights as married couples across Australia. This paper investigates whether these new rights have affected unmarried couples' investment in their relationship, in terms of household specialisation, male breadwinner and female home maker roles, having more children, and becoming home owners. Overall, partner, and financial satisfaction are also considered. The paper compares married and cohabitating people's behaviours and attitudes, using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Since the law reform, men have increased their employment, women have increased time spent on housework, and couples are more likely to have more children and become home owners. The findings indicate that a potentially unintended consequence of this law reform is that they make unmarried couples behave more like married couples, with unmarried couples more likely to make such relationship-specific investments now that laws provide for the equitable redistribution of property in the event of relationship breakdown.

Separation : must a spouse or de facto partner communicate their intention to end the consortium vitae?

Young L and Hampton J
Australian Journal of Family Law v. 32 no. 3 Feb 2019: 249-262
The date of a couple's separation is important for both married and de facto couples and influences filing dates, property holdings, and so on. It is accepted that separation requires both the intention to separate and action on that intention, but now there is a growing belief in legal circles that there is a third requirement: communication of the intention to separate. The law for married couples is confused and is even more so for de facto couples. This article discusses the law and key cases and argues that there is - and should be - no legal requirement for communication.

Making and unmaking families.

Hewitt B and Brady M
Shaver, Sheila, ed. Handbook on gender and social policy. Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018: 289-306
This chapter looks at the history of marriage and divorce shows in Western nations over the last few centuries and highlights how it has evolved. It discusses changes in prescribed gender roles, the rise of women's rights, property and paternity rights within cohabitating couples, and the emergence of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Family life has changed dramatically over the past several decades in most developed western countries, though the role of government and law in family life is extensive and pervasive. Though Western countries have removed laws that explicitly discriminate against women, gendered consequences remain: for example, women continue to take on much more of the housework and childcare duties.

Family Law Act 1975

Australia
Canberra : Federal Register of Legislation, 2018.
This website presents the latest version of the Family Law Act 1975. This Act relates to marriage, divorce, cohabitation, parental responsibility for children, and to financial matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships. This edition incorporates all amendments to 1 January 2018, including amendments up to Act No. 129, 2017.

Living Apart Together : is it an effective form of asset protection on relationship breakdown?

Upton-Davis K and Carroll R
Journal of Family Studies 14 Jun 2017: Advance online publication
Though people in Living Apart Together (LAT) relationships may feel that they - and their assets - are independent, the situation is less clear cut from a legal position. Drawing on case studies from two Australian LAT studies, this article considers some of the factors involved in determining whether a LAT relationship has become a de facto relationship and the potential financial implications upon separation.

Perceptions of polyamory in Canada

Boyd J
Calgary, AB : Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 2017.
"This report presents a detailed analysis and discussion of the data collected from a national survey undertaken in the summer of 2016. It examines the sociodemographic attributes and attitudes of people identifying as polyamorous, the composition of polyamorous relationships and perceptions of polyamorous relationships in Canada, with the goal of obtaining a better understanding of the prevalence and nature of polyamory to inform the development of family justice policy and legislation. It is the second Institute report on polyamory, the first of which focused on the application of the law on domestic relations to those involved polyamorous relationships."

Polyamorous relationships and family law in Canada

Boyd J
Calgary, AB : Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 2017.
"This paper provides a discussion of polyamorous relationships, the legal distinction between relationships that are polyamorous and marriages that are bigamous and polygamous, and how polyamorous relationships are and are not accommodated by the domestic relations legislation of Canada's common law provinces. The paper includes an initial analysis of a study by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family on perceptions of polyamory in Canada, the demographics of Canadian polyamorists and their attitudes toward their relationships. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations directed to family law lawyers dealing with polyamorous clients, including the establishment of specialized practice associations to share knowledge and develop expertise on the unique legal needs of polyamorous families."

Australian Family Law Act 1975 with regulations and rules : current as at 1 September 2017.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2017.
This book provides a full consolidation of the Family Law Act 1975, incorporating all amendments up to 1 September 2017, together with the Family Law Rules 2004, Family Law Regulations 1984, and the full Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001. Though there have been no major amendments to the law over the last year, there have been changes to the Rules relating to subpoenas and amendments regarding the structure and administration of the Family Court.

Australian master family law guide.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2017.
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. Sections include: children; property; financial agreements; financial support for children; de facto relationships; and court processes, evidence and costs - all updated to reflect amendments and case law interpretations since the 2015 edition. Chapters include: Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts; Legal practice matters: client interview and drafting affidavits; Divorce; Shared parental responsibility; Dispute resolution and family relationship centres; Parenting orders, plans and guidelines; Principles the court must consider when conducting child-related proceedings; Major long-term issues; Child abduction; Order enforcement and non-compliance in children's cases; Children and relationship factors (including child abuse, drug use, family violence, parental alienation syndrome); Surrogacy; Property; Maintenance; Bankruptcy and third parties; Corporations and trusts; Taxation considerations; Property orders; Superannuation; Financial agreements; Child support and maintenance; De facto relationships; Evidence; Court procedure; and Costs.

Family law in Australia.

Young L, Sifris A, Carroll R and Monahan G
Chatswood, N.S.W. : LexisNexis Butterworths, 2016.
This book examines the social, historical, and legal context of the family law system in Australia and discusses recent changes. Chapters are: Law, society and the family; Dispute resolution in family law; Violence and abuse; Constitutional powers and the family courts; Marriage and de facto relationships; Nullity, divorce and termination of de facto relationships; Parentage; Child related disputes: the legislative framework; Children and parents: the exercise of discretion in reallocating parental responsibility; Financial support of married and de facto partners; Financial support of children; and 4 chapters on property proceedings: preliminary issues, the legislative framework, the exercise of the discretion, and specific issues.

Australian Family Law Act 1975 : with regulations and rules : consolidated to 1 August 2016.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2016.
This book provides a full consolidation of the Family Law Act 1975, incorporating all amendments up to 1 August 2016, together with the Family Law Rules 2004, Family Law Regulations 1984, and the full Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001. Since the last edition, the Family Law Rules were amended to address surrogacy arrangements: but note, the amendments of the Family Law Amendment (Financial Agreements & Other Measures) Bill 2015 have been stalled as of time of printing and so are not included.

Family laws and access to justice.

Parkinson P
EGM on Family Policy Development - Achievements and Challenges, 14-15 May 2015. New York : United Nations Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 2015: 30p
This paper provide a brief overview of some trends in family life and family law in countries with a Judaeo-Christian tradition, with a focus on North America, Europe, and Australia. It discusses the rise of the no-fault divorce model, the transformation in custody law, the trend towards encouraging shared parenting after divorce, promoting the rights of women in family life and family violence, children's right to participation in matters that concern them, recognising non-marital cohabitation, the growth in the numbers of children whose parents live apart, pressures of family courts and their workload, the role of mediation, and the extent to which predictability in decision-making can be achieved in family law cases. This brief overview highlights not only the pace of change in families and family law systems but also the challenges that demographic changes in family life pose for governments and courts. The paper concludes with some recommendations for government policy. The paper and the slides from the presentation are available.

Australian family law in context : commentary and materials.

Parkinson P
Pyrmont, N.S.W. : Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia, 2015.
This text book for law students examines the operation of family law in Australia. Featuring notes and questions for discussion, it examines the context of families and family law, the resolution of family disputes, the formation and dissolution of marriage, economic aspects of relationship breakdown, and children in family law.

De facto relationships.

Othen C
Australian master family law guide. 7th ed. Sydney : CCH Australia, 2015. 9781925091281: 863-878
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. This chapter begins by looking at the changes brought about by the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008. It discusses making a claim and then goes on to look at property settlement, maintenance and financial agreements in each state and federally. It concludes with an overview of superannuation splitting. This chapter is adapted from the section on this topic in the book 'Australian Family Law and Practice', by Chris Othen.

Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts.

Fogarty J and Minnery S
Australian master family law guide. 7th ed. Sydney : CCH Australia, 2015. 9781925091281: 3-32
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. This chapter explains the various federal and non federal jurisdictions and legislation through which family law in Australia is administered. After listing Acts that have application to family law, the chapter looks at the constitutional background to family legislation and courts.

Australian master family law guide.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2015.
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. Sections include: children; property; financial agreements; financial support for children; de facto relationships; and court processes, evidence and costs - all updated to reflect amendments and case law interpretations since the 2013 edition. Chapters include: Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts; Legal practice matters: client interview and drafting affidavits; Divorce; Shared parental responsibility; Dispute resolution and family relationship centres; Parenting orders, plans and guidelines; Principles the court must consider when conducting child-related proceedings; Major long-term issues; Child abduction; Order enforcement and non-compliance in children's cases; Children and relationship factors (including child abuse, drug use, family violence, parental alienation syndrome); Property; Maintenance; Bankruptcy and third parties; Corporations and trusts; Taxation considerations; Property orders; Superannuation; Financial agreements; Child support and maintenance; De facto relationships; Evidence; Court procedure; and Costs.

Australian Family Law Act 1975 : with regulations and rules : consolidated to 15 March 2015.

CCH Australia Limited
Sydney, NSW : CCH Australia, 2015.
This book provides a full consolidation of the Family Law Act 1975, incorporating all amendments up to 15 March 2015, together with the Family Law Rules 2004, Family Law Regulations 1984, and extracts from the Federal Magistrates Court Rules 2001. Since the last edition, major changes have occurred to the sets of rules, regarding family violence orders, family reports, and the new the Notice of Risk and Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk of Family Violence.

Australian family law : the contemporary context

Fehlberg B, Kaspiew R, Millbank J, Behrens J and Kelly F
South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press, 2015.
This text book aims to encourage critical thinking and a wide understanding of family law in Australia today. Chapters include: structural fragmentation: the constitutional framework; mechanics of fragmentation: the jurisdictional framework; the legal recognition of family relationships; family violence; introduction to parenting disputes; processes for resolving parenting disputes; legal framework for resolving parenting disputes; specific issues in parenting disputes; introduction to financial disputes; child support; processes for resolving property disputes; legal framework for resolving property disputes; specific issues in property disputes; and maintenance for spouses and de facto partners.

Routledge handbook of family law and policy

Eekelaar J and George R
Abingdon, England : Routledge, 2014.
This book provides international comparative perspectives on the policy challenges facing family law, and how family law may develop in the future. Themes include: marriage and alternative relationships; dissolution of status, death and their consequences; parenting and parenthood; child welfare, child protection and children's rights; discrimination and personal safety; the role of the state and its institutions; and globalisation and pluralism.

Love is sharing : the elastic evolution of the de facto relationship in Australia and its implications for what is just and equitable in family law property settlements.

Conlan C
Australian Family Lawyer v. 24 no. 1 Sep 2014: 34-53
Couples today take all forms, from long-term daters to those who are Living Apart Together. But faced with property disputes, how do legal practitioners and judges identify de facto relationships under the law? This article reviews what is known about how de facto relationships are defined under the law in Australia, including areas of contention, the weighting of different types of evidence, and establishing jurisdiction. This area of family law will continue to evolve as the nature of relationships also continues to evolve. However, perhaps what defines a de facto relationship is informed by what a Court considers will achieve justice and equity between the parties involved.

Report on parentage and the Family Law Act

Family Law Council (Australia), Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Barton, ACT : Attorney-General's Department, 2014.
In June 2012, the then Attorney-General asked the Family Law Council to consider a range of issues in relation to who is considered to be a parent of a child under the Family Law Act 1975. The rapidly changing nature of reproductive technology and community attitudes to family formation have led to an increasing diversity of families in Australia and the Attorney-General wished to ensure that children are not disadvantaged by the nature of their family or the way in which it was formed. This report presents the findings and recommendations of this investigation. It examines the current provisions of the law and whether any amendments are necessary to improve the operation of the Act and related laws or the determination of parentage. One recommendation of the report is that the Australian Government should introduce a federal Status of Children Act which would provide a clear statement of parentage laws across the Commonwealth.

Property and financial matters upon the breakdown of de facto relationships

Carson R
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.
Reforms introduced in 2009 to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) have meant that most same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples (in all states and territories except Western Australia) who end their relationships can now have their property and financial matters dealt with in substantially the same way as married people. This paper aims to provide non-legal professionals in the family law sector with a general outline of the relevant reforms, their genesis, and the arguments in favour of and against their introduction.

Family law in Australia

Young L, Monahan G, Sifris A, Carroll R and Finlay H
Chatswood, N.S.W. : LexisNexis Butterworths, 2013.
This book examines the social, historical, and legal context of the family law system in Australia and discusses recent changes. Topics include: Law, society and the family; Dispute resolution in family law; Violence and abuse; Constitutional powers and the Family Court; Marriage and de facto relationships; Nullity, divorce and termination of de facto relationships; Parentage; Child related disputes; Reallocating parental responsibility; Financial support of married de facto partners; Financial support of children; and Property distribution on the breakdown of marriage or de facto relationships.

De facto relationships.

Othen C
Australian master family law guide. 6th ed. Sydney : CCH Australia, 2013. 9781922042996: 837-850
This chapter begins by looking at the changes brought about by the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008. It discusses making a claim and then goes on to look at property settlement, maintenance and financial agreements in each state and federally. It concludes with an overview of superannuation splitting. This chapter is adapted from the section on this topic in the book 'Australian Family Law and Practice', by Chris Othen.

Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts.

Fogarty J
Australian master family law guide. 6th ed. Sydney : CCH Australia, 2013. 9781922042996: 3-31
Family law in Australia is enshrined in a complex range of legislation and legislative powers. To obtain the full picture it is necessary to look at the Constitution, a number of statutes and a number of courts, both federal and state. This chapter explains the various federal and non federal jurisdictions and legislation through which family law in Australia is administered. After listing Acts that have application to family law, the chapter looks at the constitutional background to family legislation and courts. It then goes on to discuss the Family Law Act 1975, the Corporations Act 2001 and the Marriage Act 1961. There are further sections on child support; Australian Passports Act 2005; Bankruptcy Act 1966; adoption; child protection; domestic violence; family provision; de facto property and maintenance; Family Court of Western Australia; Federal Magistrates Court; Supreme Courts of the states and territories; Courts of summary jurisdiction. The chapter concludes with a summary of the jurisdiction of each court.

Australian master family law guide.

CCH Australia Limited
North Ryde, NSW : CCH Australia, 2013.
Written for lawyers, counsellors, finance industry professionals, and students, this reference guide explains legislation, relevant case law, and legal procedures in Australian family law. Sections include: children; property; financial agreements; financial support for children; de facto relationships; and court processes, evidence and costs - all updated to reflect amendments and case law interpretations since the 2012 edition. Chapters include: Commonwealth, states, family law legislation and courts, by John Fogarty; Legal practice matters: client interview and drafting affidavits, by Genevieve Dee; Divorce, by Louise Hennessy; Shared parental responsibility, by Anne-Marie Rice; Dispute resolution and family relationship centres, by Anne-Marie Rice; Parenting orders, plans and guidelines, by Anne-Marie Rice; Principles the court must consider when conducting child-related proceedings, by Karen Williams; Major long-term issues, by Anne-Marie Rice; Child abduction, by Anne-Marie Rice; Order enforcement and non-compliance in children's cases, by William Keough; Children and relationship factors (including child abuse, drug use, family violence, parental alienation syndrome), by Renata Alexander; Property, by Jacqueline Campbell and Grant T Riethmuller; Maintenance, by Jacqueline Campbell; Bankruptcy and third parties, by Stephen Mullette; Corporations and trusts, by Louise Hennessy, updated by Sarah Minnery; Taxation considerations; Property orders, by Chris Othen; Superannuation, by Jacqueline Campbell; Financial agreements, by Jacqueline Campbell; Child support and maintenance, by Grant T Riethmuller and Kay Feeney; De facto relationships; Evidence, by Genevieve Dee; Court procedure, by Chris Othen; and Costs, by Suzanne Dowey, updated by Peter Trimbos.

Australian Family Law Act 1975 : with regulations and rules : consolidated to 1 September 2013.

CCH Australia Limited
North Ryde, NSW : CCH Australia, 2013.
This book provides a full consolidation of the Family Law Act 1975, incorporating all amendments up to 1 September 2013, together with the Family Law Rules 2004, Family Law Regulations 1984, and extracts from the Federal Magistrates Court Rules 2001. Since, the last edition, the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia was renamed the Federal Circuit Court, resulting in numerous but minor changes to the text of the Act.

Family law update.

Moore S and Carson R
Family Matters no. 93 2013: 99-105
This article summarises recent developments in state and federal family law in Australia. These include: new case law on the definition of a de facto relationship, substitute decision-makers in family law matters, and recognising gender for transsexual, transgender and intersex persons.
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