I’ve started dating again, how can I protect my assets?
After a relationship separation and division of assets, many people are reluctant to start afresh with someone new. For many, the fear is that they may be compromising their future financial security.
If you are dating but otherwise living separately from your partner, and maintaining your own separate household using separate finances, you are less likely to be considered a de facto couple and therefore it is less likely that a claim could be made through the Courts for a property adjustment.
This could change, however, should either party make substantial financial or other contributions to the relationship including, for example, renovation work to a property or providing significant care to the other parties’ children where a serious injustice would occur if a property adjustment was not made.
De facto parties can apply to the Court for a financial settlement that is just and equitable. This does not mean equal after a short relationship, but it could, for example, be 10-15% of the value of your overall assets.
Once you have lived together with your partner for two years (not necessarily continuously) you are in a de facto relationship.
You may also be considered to have been in a de facto relationship if you have lived with your partner for less than two years but there is an exceptional circumstance such as a child of the relationship, or again where a party has made a substantial financial or other contribution. It is important to be aware of the status of your relationship particularly if it is evolving and future asset protection is a priority for you.
Whether you are back on the dating scene and considering cohabitation, or even if you are now living with your partner or married, it is never too later to discuss future financial arrangements and agree appropriate financial adjustment to be applied only in the event of any future separation. Our team of expert family lawyers prepare and provides advice in relation to these type of Financial Agreements also sometimes referred to as a “prenup”, or “binding financial agreements”.
Legal Practitioner, Accredited Family Law Specialist