When it comes to the law, there is no clear definition of what a de facto relationship is. De facto relationships aren’t commenced through official formalities like how marriage is acknowledged. As such, courts have their own discretion as to determine whether your relationship qualifies as a de facto relationship according to the law.
Factors such as length of the relationship, living arrangements, financial and emotional reliance, reputations aspects of the relationship, and whether there are any dependent children involved are only some of the many things considered when determining whether a de facto relationship exists.
Just like a marriage, de facto breakups become increasingly complicated when children are involved. If you believe that your relationship qualifies as a de facto relationship in the eyes of a court, Australian family law requires that parties attempt alternative dispute resolution – specifically mediation – before filing for parenting orders. Exceptions to the family dispute resolution requirement include consent orders or situations involving family violence, abuse, or matters of urgency.
Given that you have to attempt mediation under family law, it is worth exploring how you can mediate your de facto breakup when children are involved.
Involving a qualified family dispute resolution mediator entails receiving information about parenting plans and other services that can help you through your de facto breakup. Options for child arrangements are worked on together by all parties upon discussing the issues and challenges you and your de facto partner face.
What makes mediation ideal for a parent is the non-confrontational approach of the process, which enables parties to resolve difficulties and conflict amicably. Beyond a better forum to communicate, mediation is also significantly cheaper than going to court with the added benefit of having flexible solutions that are creative and personally practical.
As part of the process, an independent and impartial mediator will help guide both you and your de facto partner in identifying key issues to be discussed. Solutions are then developed and negotiated pursuant to an agreement being reached. As children are involved, the process gives priority to the best interests of the child when attempting to resolve a de facto breakup.
Mediation is a confidential process which helps the family’s reputation remain intact. The only exceptions to this case is where consent is given, or there is a need to prevent a serious threat to someone’s health, life, or the commission of a crime.
A good mediator remains impartial throughout the process, without divulging information to opposite parties. Mediation sessions heavily rely on the parties working together to resolve a dispute with the guidance of a mediator. The mediator does not provide any advice, comments on the situation, or suggestions as to how things should be resolved. It is entirely up to the parties to agree and move forward.
De facto disputes should take advantage of online mediation to help resolve your de facto breakup involving children. Online mediation offers the benefit of flexible scheduling of mediation sessions and absence of logistics and travelling with the benefits of having expert mediators to help manage your case.
With a significantly reduced cost when compared to traditional mediation and a resolution time as quick as 30 days, Immediation is an invaluable asset to resolving de facto disputes cost effectively and time efficiently.