How to mediate de facto breakup disputes

Going through a de facto breakup can be overwhelming for all parties, especially where assets, property, and even children are involved.


Without a binding financial agreement in place, parties to a de facto relationship may find themselves surrendering assets or hard earned superannuations to their de facto partner. This can happen even if the living arrangements of the de facto relationship followed a “what’s mine is mine” arrangement.


Legally speaking, there is no precise definition of what a de facto relationship is. Relationships are assessed on a case by case basis, which raises a certain level of uncertainty in putting the outcome of your relationship at the hands of the courts.


What is a de facto relationship in the eyes of the law? 


Unlike a conventional marriage, there are several additional legal hurdles that de facto relationships have to overcome in order to establish the existence of a de facto relationship.


In a court’s point of view, a de facto relationship can be proven through to assessment of the following factors:


  • The relationship duration
  • Whether the parties share a common residence
  • Whether there was a sexual relationship
  • The degree of financial dependence, if any 
  • Whether there was a mutual commitment to a shared life 
  • Whether the relationship was registered as being de facto
  • Whether the parties had children
  • The public perception of the relationship 
  • Joint ownership of any property


De facto relationships can still exist, from a legal standpoint, where the parties are still legally married to someone else, where the parties are in other de facto relationships, or where there is a committed relationship despite the parties not living together permanently. 


How mediation can help de facto breakup disputes


The mediation process follows a structured format that revolves around practicality based on personal circumstances. 


Without having a legal system scrutinising the entire process, creative resolutions that suit both parties can be formed, which would otherwise not be possible in a court setting.


De facto relationship mediation looks toward the future as opposed to revisiting the past. As part of the process, qualified mediators adopt dispute resolution techniques to assist parties in developing constructive communication with a focus on coming to an agreeable settlement. Mediation sessions help parties garner deeper understandings of the de facto breakup disputes at hand, as well as create some room for sympathy for the other party.


Mediation allows de facto parties to realise their own solutions as well as gain a clearer perspective of aspects of their relationship as a whole – which can result in them having healthier relationships in future. 


Once an agreement is reached, parties then enter into Binding Financial Agreements for property matters only and Consent Orders where children and finances are involved. 


Beyond the uncertainty of whether your relationship will be determined as de facto, the costs associated with going to court to settle de facto breakup disputes can be tremendous. Not only will parties be burdened by exorbitant legal costs, the entire process is mentally and emotionally tiring with uncertainty on how long it will take to resolve your de facto dispute. 


To cut costs even further, online mediation offers the best of what traditional mediation provides with the added advantage of absence of inference, flexible schedules and meeting times, no need for travel or logistics and even lower costs and turnaround times.


With an expert mediation panel ready to help you resolve your de facto breakup dispute amicably, Immediation has a strong track record of 30 day outcomes using a simple process that comes at a low cost. Check out our pricing here


Get in touch with one of our expert mediators today.