Recent media reports have raised concerns over the validity of orders made by the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court relating to de facto property matters.

The uncertainty about the validity of the orders is due to an administrative error made when passing legislation in 2009 that gave power to the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court to deal with property and maintenance disputes between de facto couples.

It is important to note that:

  • This issue is only relevant to orders relating to de facto property matters that were made between during March 2009 to February 2012. It does not relate to matters involving children.
  • All orders made by the court are valid unless the court determines otherwise.
  • The court understands that the Government is working on this issue and will pass legislation that will provide validity to all orders that have been made.

You can find more information on the Attorney-General's Department.

On 29 February 2012, the Attorney-General released a media alert advising that the Australian Government would introduce a Bill in March 2012 to provide certainty to people who have orders of the federal family law courts in de facto property and maintenance matters. A copy of that media release is available from the Attorney-General's website.


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