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Can My Girlfriend Take Half My House in Australia?

can my girlfriend take half my house | Justice Family Lawyers

In Australia, your girlfriend is not automatically entitled to take half of your house. The law requires you to take into consideration any contributions that both of you made to the house, and any future needs either of you may have.

For example, a relationship where one person entered a relationship with a property is different from a relationship where the couple purchased a property when they were together during the relationship.

When a relationship ends, one of the most difficult issues is property settlement rights.

What happens to half your house in Australia if you and your girlfriend split up? Can my girlfriend take half my house? Or does the house belong exclusively to you?

Quick Summary

  1. You will need to establish whether you are in a de facto relationship or not to determine whether your partner has a claim to your house.
  2. If you are not in a de facto relationship, then there is no claim.
  3. If you are in a de facto relationship – you will need to assess the contributions of each party as well as the future needs either of you may have.
  4. Couples may agree on a division of the assets or if an agreement cannot be reached, an application can be made to the court for a property settlement order.

Consideration

The Family Law Act of 1975 sets out several factors that the court must carefully consider before determining how assets should be divided after the breakdown of a de facto relationship. Some of these things are:

  • What the parties entered the relationship with
  • What the current financial position is of the parties
  • The financial contributions each party made to the property
  • The non-financial contributions made by each party
  • The length of the relationship. For a short marriage property settlement the rules are different from a long marriage.
  • Are there any children?
  • Each party’s age, health, and ability to earn an income.

Also read: Conciliation Conference: A Guide to Resolving Family Law Disputes

Partner Entitlement

A partner is entitled to half of the house if they can show that their contributions to the joint asset pool are equal to 50% of the value of the house.

Things like how long the relationship was, whether or not there are children and who paid for the initial deposit of the house are all important to answer this question.

Does My Partner Automatically Get Half My House?

It is important to know that there is no assumption that your partner will get half the family home.

In many cases, one partner may be entitled to half the family home, however, it’s important to remember that this varies depending on the specific circumstances.

The court will consider each individual case and decide on a final determination based on the contributions made by both parties and principles of equity.

It’s also important to consider all assets that are part of the asset pool. These assets may include inheritances, trusts, or family businesses. Superannuation should also be taken into consideration when determining the overall settlement.

Scenario 1

For example, let’s look at these facts to see if your partner is entitled to half of the house:

  1. You bought a house worth 1 million dollars and have been living in it for 2 years
  2. Your partner moves into the house and lives there for 2 years
  3. You don’t have any kids together
  4. Your partner assisted from time to time in making some payments to you and made payments to the groceries
  5. You separate after living together for 2 years

In this scenario, your partner would not be entitled to 50% of your house, as their contributions were very little.

Scenario 2

Let’s take another set of facts and see how this would be different:

  1. You bought a house worth 1 million dollars and have been living in it for 2 years. You have paid $200k towards the initial purchase of the house and towards the mortgage repayments.
  2. Your partner moves into the house and lives there for 10 years.
  3. During that time, you paid an additional $200k in mortgage repayments. Your partner paid $100k in mortgage repayments.
  4. The value of the house has gone up to 2 million dollars
  5. The mortgage is now worth about $500k so the equity in the property is about $1.5m
  6. There are no kids

In this situation, there have been about $500k worth of payments made toward the house. Out of that, your partner has made $100k worth of payments, or about 20%.

The value of the house is $1.5m, so 20% of that is about $300k.

This is the minimum your partner may receive.

There may be other factors here to consider. Your partner potentially paid for other things, maybe the arrangement was that they pay more of the groceries and other expenses and not make payments towards the house. This could also potentially be counted for.

Couples have the option to reach an agreement on the division of assets and agree to either keep the house or sell the property and divide the profits between them.

What If One Spouse Wants the House?

If one of the parties wishes to retain the family home, other assets such as money or property may be used to compensate the other partner. However, this must be taken into account when considering the overall settlement. If one partner wishes to keep the house, there may also be a requirement to pay the other partner their proportional share in return.

In cases where the parties have signed a binding financial agreement before a marriage separation, the court may consider this when making the final determination on asset division.

In some cases, the court may allow one party to buy out the other’s share and become the sole owner of the property.

  1. During a separation, there is no assumption that both people will get half the family home.
  2. Asset division between separated couples is primarily guided by the Family Law Act 1975.
  3. In addition to division of the family home, superannuation and other property should be taken into account when determining the final settlement.

How to Calculate Buying Someone Out of a House Australia?

Here’s a breakdown of how to calculate buying someone out of a house in Australia, along with the factors and costs involved:

Key Steps:

  1. Get a Property Valuation: The first crucial step is determining the house’s current market value. Engaging an independent valuer or experienced real estate agent provides a fair and unbiased assessment.
  2. Calculate Equity: Equity is the difference between the property’s value and the remaining mortgage balance.
    • Example: Property Value = $700,000, Mortgage Balance = $250,000. Equity = $450,000.
  3. Determine Ownership Shares: Unless agreed otherwise beforehand, the starting point is usually a 50/50 equity split. However, several factors can influence the final share for each person:
    • Initial contributions (deposit, stamp duty, legal fees)
    • Mortgage payments made by each party
    • Renovations or improvements funded by one party
    • Non-financial contributions (stay-at-home parenting)
    • Length of the relationship
    • Future earning potential of each party
  4. Calculate the Buyout Price: The buyout price is determined by the departing person’s equity share. Using the previous example, if a 50/50 split is agreed upon, the buyout price would be $225,000.

Important Considerations:

  • Legal and Transfer Costs: Account for expenses like legal fees, stamp duty, and any additional transfer fees associated with changing ownership on the title.
  • Obtain a New Loan (if needed): If you can’t cover the buyout with existing funds, factor in the costs of obtaining a new mortgage or refinancing your existing one.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Cases involving complex financial arrangements or disputes are best handled by a family lawyer or financial advisor. They can help you navigate the process and ensure your interests are protected.

Property Settlement in Divorce - can my girlfriend take half my house?

Resources

Navigating a marriage separation can be an emotional and difficult process. At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the complexities of ending a relationship and are here to provide support. Our team of experienced property settlement lawyers can provide advice and guidance on when a partner is entitled to half of your house during a marriage separation. We can help you understand your rights and the legal processes involved in dividing assets and property during the separation.

If you are considering a marriage separation, don’t hesitate to contact us; we are here to help.

Conclusion

It is essential to seek legal guidance when tackling issues of property division in Australia. Justice Family Lawyers provide experienced professionals to help navigate complex property settlement arrangements and arrangements that are specific to any individual situation.

82 thoughts on “Can My Girlfriend Take Half My House in Australia?”

  1. Can one party make post asset purchase claims?
    Is it legal??
    My partner has gone to court with his ex girlfriend to sell their house but this story doesn’t seem yo end. It’s been nearly a year and he’s now got an offer to settle for post sale at 5% of the value of the house and land, plus pay their legal fees. He’s not going to accept but why isn’t the magistrate making a decision? Can someone please help me to understand why isn’t the magistrate deciding?
    I thought this is the whole point of going to court.
    What’s the general timeframe? Thank you

    1. Hi Silvia, generally what happens when you go to court is that there are a number of court events before the judge makes a decision as to the final split. It normally takes about 1 year for a matter to be ready for a final decision.

      1. Hi I have been with my ex for 8 years I purchased the home in my name we had a joint bank account, however my pay was a lot higher than hers I put about 100k into the house from money I had I’m not in the house now but still paying the mortgage but she isn’t there are no kids to the relationship but I have 2 kids under 13 years old what’s rights do I have is it 50/50 or not

        1. Hi Matt, Your additional financial contributions to the home could indeed influence the property division, likely tilting the split percentage in your favor. To get a detailed understanding of what you might expect in your specific situation, it’s best to contact our office directly. Our experienced solicitors are here to guide you through this process and will take a comprehensive look at the financial circumstances of both parties to provide you with tailored advice.

      2. Hi,
        I have been with my partner for 3 years and lived in his house for pretty much the whole relationship.
        He owns multiple houses at the moment.
        I have not made any financial contributions to the mortgage etc as he declined my offer of doing so as he mentioned it would give me more entitlements. I pay for all the groceries and household things. No kids involved. Do I have any entitlements? Thanks

        1. You may have a potential claim to a share of the property’s value based on your non-financial contributions (groceries, household expenses) during the relationship. However, without direct financial contributions or being a primary caregiver for children, your entitlements are likely to be modest compared to if you had contributed to mortgage payments or the property’s acquisition.

      3. Hi, I’ve been living with my partner for 3.5 years in his home. I was/am never allowed to make any financial contributions to the property but I pay for all the groceries etc. Do I have any rights or claims to the home?

        1. Based on the information provided, you may have a de facto claim under Australian family law, given the length of your relationship and your non-financial contributions to the household. However, the portion of your claim, if any, would be determined by your direct contributions to the property and the overall financial and non-financial contributions to the relationship. To determine the strength of your claim and the likely outcome of a property settlement, you would need to have the specific details of your situation thoroughly assessed by a family lawyer.

  2. Hi Hayder,

    What about in this scenario, how might this be different to the above?

    – You bought a house single worth $500k and have been living in it for 3.5 years. You have paid $100k towards the initial purchase of the house and $20k towards the mortgage repayments.
    – Your partner moves into the house and lives there for the 3/4 years.
    – During that time, you paid an additional $20k in mortgage repayments. Your partner paid NO contribution towards mortgage repayments.
    – The value of the house has gone up to $100k since partner moved in.
    – Partner pays for groceries and makes contribution to some household purchases.
    – Chores are split relatively 50/50
    – There are no kids

    If my partner has made no significant contributions i.e. no mortgage repayments towards the house. Would he/she have anything to try claim?

    Thank you

    1. Basically – no. In this scenario the partner will not receive anything. It is certainly the situation where the partner has received the benefit of living in a house (not paying rent or mortgage). The partner could technically try and get something, but i would be strongly arguing that they would be receiving nothing.

      1. Thank you – would this situation change if we were to get married in the future? Or is it still largely based off contributions and benefit of not paying rent?

          1. Hayder,

            If i were to buy a house now (currently renting with girlfriend, she doesn’t pay rent) with only me putting a deposit down, & only me paying the mortgage, could my girlfriend potentially take a share of the house in the event of a split in the future. what’s the scenario if we don’t have kids or do

          2. If you buy a house and only you contribute to the deposit and mortgage, your girlfriend could potentially claim a share of the house in the event of a split, depending on the nature and duration of your relationship and other factors. To safeguard your interests, you might consider a binding financial agreement. Having children will definitely mean she will be entitled to a portion.

  3. Hi Hayder,

    What if this is the scenario:
    – You are in a 1 year defacto relationship
    – You bought a house worth $600k and did a down payment of $100k on your own
    – You bought most of the furnitures
    – Your partner tries to give some but not half of the mortgage
    – Your partner gives $35k for the house
    – Your partner tries to contribute with groceries but minimal
    – House chores is relatively 50/50
    – You have no kids

    Will your partner claim half of the property in the near future?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Rebecca, if you were to separate now, the funds will be split in the proportion they were contributed. If you relationship continues and you have kids and you are together for over 7 years, it is likely that the contributions could start blurring and you will therefore be in a position where half the house could be paid out to either one of you.

  4. My partner of 16 years has left me.
    For the first 14.5 years she did not work and therefore paid nothing towards bills or mortgage.
    She has now been working for 18 months and has been paying for food and other minor bills. I have continued to pay the mortgage, the rates, house insurance and electricity. She has not contributed anything to the property financially.
    We have two children, one (14) which is our child together, the other (17) is her child, both children are with me and will remain with me.
    I am retired and on the penson, she earns circa $90k.
    I have paid for most of the house with money from properties I owned previous to our relationship.
    I paid her the following:
    Cash $15,000
    Car $16,000
    Australian Citizenship $10,000
    Land in Thailand value circa $20,000, which is in her name.
    Multiple trips to Thailand circa $20,000

    She also has $20,000 in super.
    Can she come after part of my property and can I go after her for some of her super, I have no super, (long story).

  5. Hi,

    I bought a house in 2008 with my mother, both of us were on the title.
    My mom moved out and I became the sole home owner.

    Met my girlfriend 2019, she moved in with me 2021. I refinanced the house October 2022 and put her on the home loan.

    We share an offset account that both our pay goes into.

    All bills and mortgage repayments ($600 a week) come out of our Joint Offset account.

    Is she entitled to anything?

  6. Hi Hayder, I’m seeing some assuring examples here.
    My situation is a failed 12 year de facto relationship where I bought and paid for property just before the commencement of the relationship and paid 100% of the mortgage.
    The property is in my name.
    The ex partner contributed around 50% of bills and living expenses and no more than 10k worth of unremovable improvements.
    She was able to work part time the whole 12 years and amass savings of around 100k.
    I have just over 200k in super.
    What sort of payout would she be entitled to?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Paul, if you were both working through the relationship, and you were both contribution to the mortgage of the property, then it would be a contributions based argument, meaning you would calculate the percentage of how much you both contributed towards the property and divide it accordingly.

      If it was the case that you paid 100% of the house and mortgage, then she would need to show that she made contributions to the property and that there were an intermingling of funds in order to get a portion of the property.

      1. Hi Hayder
        I just got divorced recently. I have a house on my own and I just meet my new girlfriend . I paid huge deposit on the house and also have a saving on my offset account. She doesn’t own a house or anything . Can my girlfriend be in title of anything to the house if we get engaged or married in the future and how can I protect myself to make sure whatever assets I have prior of meeting her is mine and cannot be touched by her?
        Regards Simon

          1. Hi Hayder
            I am in same situation as Simon,
            I just want to add on, if my current girlfriend and I decide to have kids in the future does binding financing agreement protects me if we split up in the future?
            Also would a family trust be more protective then ( BFA) which means if my current relationship doesn’t work out there is no need for (BFA) in the future.
            Regards
            Daniel

          2. Hi

            You are best off getting a BFA as opposed to relying on containing assets within a family trust. A BFA will protect you if you have kids in the future.

          3. Hi Hayden
            How much it cost and how long it takes to finalise ( BFA) please??
            I’ve been with my girlfriend for 6 months now, things are getting serious and I definitely want to protect my assets.

          4. Hi Daniel, Please get in touch with our office directly to receive our costs estimate for drafting and finalising your BFA.

          5. 13 year defacto relationship, 3 children, 9yrs,7yrs,4yrs. No contribution to the mortgage, insurance, bills or maintenance of the house 100% me. Single mortgage, my parents went guarantor but I removed them last year. I pay school fees, she cleans the house and does the food shop. She has since moved out with the kids, I continue to pay school fees, excursions and necessary items. I have 14% care and pay her $150pw.
            Opinions?

          6. In cases of separation after a de facto relationship, especially one where there are children of the relationship, the law typically seeks to ensure that arrangements are made in the best interests of the children and that there is a fair distribution of property and financial support between the parties. If you wish to receive legal advice regarding your current circumstances, please get in touch with our office directly.

  7. Hi Hayder, I had a partner of 4 years we built together in 2015 lived in the house together for 2 years or maybe just under they moved out of there own choice contributed to the mortgage only for 3 months post break up and hasn’t contributed for the last 4 years at all, we had started the processes of transferring the property in my name solely she has changed her mind and instead of signing off the house in my name now that there might be profit after i have payed enough off and the markets has gone up she wants a payment I am considering selling and settling in court would I be entitled to her half of the payment for the mortgage in the last 4 years and also including the council rates and improvements to the house such as solar which also would add value to the house or not?

    We have no children together, although I do now have 3 kids with my now wife

    Thank you

    1. Hi Timothy, her claim sounds very weak. It will be about what she actually contirbuted to the property given that it was a short relationship. It will be down to contributions and it appears your contributions vastly vastly outweigh hers.

  8. Hi Paul , I have a friend who has received a letter from his x girlfriends Lawyer stating half of his property is to be given to the x. The x lived on the property for 7 years with my friend , my friend paid $45,000 to pay out her mortgage on a property she owned, during their relationship they bought a parcel of land jointly through his bank which he has been paying the mortgage . She left in 2018 to move in with another local
    in our area. Can you please advise on this situation

  9. Hi,
    Im building a house.
    My partner has a property that i wont contribute towards.
    We have agreed on 60/40 mortgage repayments going forward.
    We have discussed my contribution of $220k plus being deducted from the equity if we split. Then the the division 60/40 of remaining equity.
    Your post at the top reads similar to this i believe.
    Am i correct with that? And that i can’t touch her property?
    My question is though.
    So we split and she gets in theory “her rent money back plus any capital growth”. Is that correct?
    In essence people who split get all there money back that put the roof over there head??
    We are setting our prenups up currently.
    Im just trying to understand why a person doesn’t lose some part of that percentage as they would have lost that if we were renting🤷🏻‍♂️
    Help in understanding would be great.
    Cheers

  10. Hi there
    I’ve just recently let my ex stay with me until her house is built she’s been living rent free with me for 5 months we have a 12yr old son together. I’ve set up a joint account with her for us to pay 50/50 in shopping and bills
    What are her rights if she decides she wants to put in a property claim

  11. My husband put his salary towards a house he bought in his mother and father’s name,seven years ago. My in laws have got their own house as well.

    I want him to buy a house in both of our names & then we contribute towards the payments for that house. he does not want to do that.

    I am not sure why he is doing like this?

    Is he worried that in case of divorce, that property can not be touched.

    1. Hi, it is hard to ascerrtain his intentions, but he may think that this will ensure that the property will be kept out of the asset pool and will not be split between the parties. The reality is, this is not the case, and it will be able to be placed into the asset pool if he has been making financial contirbtutions towards that property.

      1. I am building a house with my partner and we have separated but still haven’t moved into it yet.. is he entitled to half of the house if he has only put in $30,000? I have paid the rates and other fee’s

        1. Hi, the property entitlements for you and your ex-partner would depend on various factors including the length of the relationship and the financial and non-financial contributions you have both made. For comprehensive advice regarding your circumstances, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

  12. Hi Hayden
    Unfortunately I’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have been separated from my partner who we have two children with for seven years now I have substantial amount of cash and I wondering if I buy a house in her name paid for out right and later on she meet somebody they move in. Do they have any rights to half the house if they separate later on as it is my kids inheritance for later on in life, basically I am doing this so that I know my children will grow up to their adult lives having a safe roof over their head,
    I would hate for all my hard work to be lost just like that

    1. Hi Michael, essentially, it is possible that the new partner could take a portion of that property. The best thing would be to ensure that the funds are placed in a trust for the benefit of the children.

  13. Hi Hayder
    I’ve been seperated for 2 years and currently applying for a divorce. I now have a new girlfriend who has moved in with me. My ex has mentioned she only wants half of the house , we have no children. Is it 50/50 . Since our seperation I have paid for all payments and rates.
    What should I do ?

  14. I own my own house in NSW and have other assets. My girlfriend stays over several times a week but does not contribute to anything including bills, she does not own anything in her own name.
    As she stays over, would she be able to claim anything against me if we split up? or if she did move in permanently in the future, could she claim anything of mine then?

    1. Hi. Right now with your current living arrangements, unless you have a child together, it sounds like you are not in a de facto relationship. That means she cannot make a claim. In the future, if you start living together, or do something else that puts you in a de facto relationship, she could potentially have a claim.

  15. Hi there.
    From Melbourne.
    Just wanted to ask a couple questions.
    I have been living in my newly built home for 9 months now. It was purchased at $450k I had put a deposit of $150k down and have paid for all my furniture upon moving in.
    My partner of almost 4 years has now just moved in.
    Our plan is for him to pay half of the mortgage as rent. I will be paying the other half along with rates/insurance etc.
    He will also contribute to bills/groceries.
    1. Will he be entitled to anything if we were to split?
    2. Even though he wont have direct access to the mortgage account, will i need to declare any money i get from him towards repayments? (Rent)? Even though its not considered a profit ?
    Ive been hearing mixed messages about this and its incredibly confusing!
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    1. If you are moving in with a partner and they are making payments towards anything, it could be considered a financial contribution meaning that they could make a claim to the property in the event of separation.

  16. Hi Hayder,

    2018 Moved in with my partner in a rental
    2019 I bought a house, only me on the title. I payed deposit and all fees.
    2020-2023 We both lived in the house, she paid me approx 1/3 of total mortage payments as we combined her business rent and split the total amount in half.
    There was also some contributions made from her brother renting a studio on the property.
    My contribution: 5/10
    Her contribution: 3/10
    Rent in come: 2/10

    I have done a lot of work/renovation on the house, including all maintence on the property.
    No kids.

    What is your estimation of the split?

    Cheers

    1. Hi, you will need to quanitfy your non financial contributions to get the maximum value out of the split. It also depends on how much you paid for the deposit and fees. If you paid the deposit and all the fees + 2/3 of all mortgage repayments + non financial contributions, it looks like a strong argument for over 70%.

  17. Hi Hayden
    I am divorced and now in relationship with my new girlfriend.
    I have a house on my own and pay all the Mortage and such myself.
    Looking to buy an investment property on my name only.
    Does my current girlfriend can take anything from me if we seperate.
    She’s not contributing to anything towards the mortgages.
    We do live together and she’s asking to have a joint account and such.

    1. Hi, the answer to this is, the longer you stay together and intermingle your finances, the more likely it is she can make a claim on the house and any other property you have. If you want protection of your assets, you will need to prepare and sign a BFA. If you want a more detailed consultation about this please get in touch with our office.

  18. Hi Hayden

    I have one child with a guy that although we have a good co parenting relationship and friendship we have never been in a relationship I have recently asked him if he would rent a room in his house to me and our daughter, I don’t know the law very well at all surrounding property as I have always rented but he has raised concerns about apparently if I were to live there long enough especially with our daughter I could lay claim to half his house. I don’t intend to do this but understand his concerns if this is true, as he holds all the risk in this arrangement

    My question is if he’s correct in that? Could I lay claim? And if so are there any kinda documentation I could sign agreeing I won’t lay claim, that can’t be disputed in court easily later just to give him peace of mind

    1. Living in a property with your ex-partner, even if you are not in a romantic relationship, could potentially be seen as a de facto relationship under Australian law. It is important to consult with an experienced family lawyer to receive detailed advice on your best options moving forward.

  19. Hi
    Been together for 1year
    Bought a house under my name I did the deposit mortgage and all bills etc under my name around 60k Partner paid to do up the house at time of purchase and got most of the furniture for the house. Around 40k
    Who is entitled to what in this case?

    1. Hi, In the event of separation, the court will consider various factors, including the length of the relationship and the financial and non-financial contributions each of you made during the relationship when determining entitlements. Given the brief duration of the relationship to date, the likelihood of a significant disparity between the percentages each of you has contributed towards the property and the percentages you would receive after separation is low. However, maintaining clear records of your respective financial inputs is advisable. Additionally, consulting with a lawyer to draft a financial agreement could provide added protection by outlining the agreed-upon division of assets in case of separation.

  20. Hi Hayder,
    I bought my house for $475k in 2021 and my partner has moved in since 2022 and have been living here ever since.
    – She does not pay any bills
    – She does not pay for the mortgage
    – She does pay for 50/50 groceries
    – also occasional things for the house like pots/ pans
    – she does all the cooking and most the cleaning
    – we also own a dog together 50/50

    what would be her entitlement to the house?

    Note she hasn’t changed her address in her license yet to my house. Does this matter ?

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Nathan, it doesnt matter that she has not changed her address, but because the relationship has been quite short and she has only been living there for a year, if you were to separate today, there would be no split.

  21. Hi lawyers, could you please advise whether my partner could get anything from me in below scenario?

    – I bought a unit worth $500k and have been living in it from 2014. I paid the initial deposit and have been paying the mortgage repayments by myself.

    – My partner moves in Mid 2020.
    – During that time, my partner paid NO contribution towards mortgage repayments.
    _ Partner gave me $10K as gift.
    – Partner pays for 20 % groceries and makes contribution to some household purchases.
    – Chores are mainly done by myself.
    – There are no kids

      1. Hi Hayder,

        – My new partner purchased a home on his own and has always paid 100% of the mortgage.

        – His ex girlfriend moved in 3 years after he obtained the house and was there for 9 years and they had 2 children together during this time.

        – She made no financial contributions towards the mortgage at all.

        – They have been separated for almost 3 years now.

        Is she entitled to any financial assets after such a long period apart?

        If so, will my personal assets, as his new partner be at risk/taken into consideration if legal action is taken?

        At what stage, can we combine our assets to set up our futures to financially benefit our current situation?

        1. Even without direct financial contributions to the mortgage, your partner’s ex may have entitlements, especially considering the length of the cohabitation and the presence of children. Your personal assets generally wouldn’t be at risk due to his previous relationship’s financial matters. However, if you combine assets with your partner, his share of those assets could potentially become part of the financial pool considered in any future legal actions related to him. It is generally best to keep your assets separate until property disputes between your partner and his ex are legally resolved.

  22. I have 12 properties all have been purchased before my relationship started. 4 year relationship, moved here from overseas started working first year, second year , third year , fourth year decided to study. No contributions to any property or bills.

    1. Hi, whilst she may have a claim, she will need to show she made some contributions to the properties. If there are no contributions and it is a short relationship, she will not receive anything.

  23. My mother and her partner have just split. Have been together for 1 year and living together in mums house. I want to buy her house, if I buy it before they come to an agreed settlement, can this impact me in any way?

    1. Buying the house before your mother and her ex-partner come to a settlement could potentially complicate matters. If her partner claims a share of the property, your purchase could be drawn into their settlement negotiations or legal disputes. It’s important to get legal advice before proceeding with the purchase. A lawyer can advise on the potential risks and how to mitigate them.

  24. Hi Hayder,

    My mom and dad are going through separation. Mom have australia permanent resident whereas my dad are not (he lives in overseas).

    My mom also bought the house (title under her name only) outright in cash over 10 years ago.

    Mom not working (full time home duties). She got the funds from dad more than 15 years ago and she did some investment and generate income herself to enable her buy the house outright.

    Does my dad have the right to claim half of the house in australia? Even though the name of the house is purely just under mom’s name.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Jason, in Australia, during a separation, the court examines the total assets owned by both parties, irrespective of whose name is on the titles. Success in property division claims depends on various factors, including both financial contributions, like your father’s initial funds, and non-financial contributions, such as ongoing homemaking and parenting roles by your mother. It’s highly advised that your mother seek legal advice to better understand what potential claims your father could be eligible to make and how best to protect her interests.

  25. My ex partner and I living together 6 years. In 2020 he brought a house for ‘us’ only his name on title and he paid mortgage. I paid all groceries and utility bills gas water power. I brought some furniture stuff for house etc chores were split.No kids. Am I entitled to anything from the house

    1. Hi Melissa, the house being solely in your ex-partner’s name does not automatically exclude you from potentially having a claim. Both financial contributions, like paying bills and purchasing furniture, and non-financial contributions, such as homemaking, are considered when dividing property after a separation. It is advisable to gather evidence of your contributions to the household, including receipts for groceries, bills, and furniture, and consult an experienced family lawyer to explore any entitlements you might have concerning the property.

  26. Hi Hayder,
    I built my house in 2018/2019 for $340K. My ex and I started dating at the end of 2019 and he moved in with me in March 2021. We split up in Jan 2024. The house is now valued at $550-$580K. We split bills 50/50, and together we paid for the front and back gardens to be finished, installed the verandah, and bought some furniture and a dog together.
    My ex didn’t bring any assets into the relationship. His lawyer has said he is eligible for half my house and superannuation now. Is this true? What should we realistically be considering in terms settlement?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Shan, the division of property, including your house and superannuation, considers various factors beyond initial asset ownership or direct financial contributions. Although your ex moved in later and didn’t bring assets into the relationship, contributions to the home’s upkeep and improvements, like the gardens and verandah, are relevant. However, a 50/50 split is not automatic; it’s instead influenced by the specific details of your contributions, the relationship’s duration, and both parties’ future needs. Given the relatively short duration of cohabitation and the absence of children, these specific contributions will play a significant role in determining a fair settlement. For a realistic assessment of what settlement to consider, consulting with a family law solicitor is essential. They can assess the financial records and the non-financial contributions of both you and your ex-partner and provide advice tailored to your circumstances.

  27. Hi Hayder,

    What if this is the scenario:
    – You are in a 1 year de-facto relationship
    – You bought a house worth $1 million and did a down payment of $400k on your own
    – Everything else is 50/50 (Furniture, Mortgage Repayments, Chores, Groceries)
    – You have no kids

    Will your partner claim half of the property in the near future?

    Alternatively to the above, what if your partner made no Mortgage Repayments but everything else remained the same in the scenario?

    Thank you

    1. In the first scenario you described:

      Since you made the entire $400k down payment from your own funds before the relationship, that portion is likely to be considered your sole contribution and not subject to division. The remaining $600k mortgage debt, as well as the furniture and other joint expenses, would typically be considered joint contributions during the relationship. After a relatively short relationship of 1 year, your partner may have a claim to a share of the property’s value proportional to their contributions during that time, but likely not an equal 50% split.

      In the alternative scenario where your partner made no mortgage repayments:

      Your larger financial contribution towards the mortgage would likely entitle you to a greater percentage of the property’s value upon separation. However, your partner’s non-financial contributions (chores, groceries, etc.) may still give them a claim to some portion of the property’s equity.

      However, it is important to understand that property settlements in de facto relationships can be quite complex, and the specific circumstances of your relationship and contributions would need to be carefully evaluated by a family lawyer.

  28. My partner and I together purchased a house for 600K in 2020 and together lived in the house for 1.5 years. He paid only 10k towards the deposit, my salary was getting credited into joint account. Prior to purchasing we rented for 4 years. He did not have any income for first 3 years and got citizenship through me. I earn significantly more than him now but have a health condition too which needs to monitored. Hes in fairly good health and we have no kids. House chores were mostly 70/30, me contributing about 70% to chores. We separated in Sep 2021 and since then I have been solely managing all mortgage payments. Is he entitled to anything at all given the financial contributions are significantly low.

    1. Since you have been the primary financial contributor to both the house purchase and ongoing mortgage payments, and your non-financial contributions have also been substantial, these factors will likely weigh in your favor when determining an equitable property division. To get a better understanding as to what his entitlements could be, if any, it is important to consult with a family lawyer who can thoroughly review your situation and guide you on likely outcomes considering all the contributions, financial and non-financial, made by both parties throughout the relationship.

  29. Hi Hayder,
    My partner moved into my house a year ago, the mortgage is solely in my name and I own all furniture and household items. My partner pays weekly rent and contributes to bills/groceries via bank transfer to me. All bills accounts are in my name. Do I need a financial agreement to protect my assets?

    1. Hi Bec, given that your partner has moved into your property and is contributing financially through rent and bills, it could be wise to consider a financial agreement. Having an agreement in place can help to protect your assets should the relationship end and mitigate potential legal disputes in the future.

  30. Hi,

    I and my ex-partner have been in an off-again, on-again situationship for the past 3 or so years, during this time we have both moved on, cut communication and he moved out around 2 years ago.

    I bought my first property when I was 18 by myself and then when I was 25 and with him, I bought a second home – he is not listed on anything however as we were on and off again, we sent each other money.
    I was only able to buy this home from the equality gained from the property purchased…

    Admittedly he did send me more money when I look back at transactions because I paid for everything and also bought him a car worth $ 50,000k when we started dating that he said verbally he would pay back but never did…

    I am worried that he is going to take me to court because he is telling me that he wants half of both house and property, can you please give me some advice.

    1. Since he contributed financially and you were in a relationship, he might try to make a claim under de facto relationship laws. It’s important to document all financial transactions and seek legal advice to understand your position and prepare for any possible claims. Additionally, consider formalising any agreements or settlements to protect your assets.

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