Time limits in de facto relationship separations

Be careful in letting time lapse following a separation in a de facto relationship situation.  If you wish to institute proceedings against a de facto partner following a separation you should do so at an early time and not leave matters to the point where the Family Law Act time limit allowing such proceedings has expired.

In the case of Simonds (deceased) & Coyle (2019) FLC 93-895, 344 FLR 183, 59 Fam LR 410 the Full Court of the Family Court summarised the position of separation and commencement of proceedings in de facto relationship situations:

  • If one party in the de facto relationship dies and, at the time of the death, neither party had commenced any proceedings seeking property adjustment, then, under the legislation, no de facto financial cause existed and no cause could be instituted
  • The legislation makes no provision to entertain proceedings against or by the legal representative (an executor or an administrator of the estate) of a deceased party
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