Division of Property and Finances

Abusive partners sometimes tell the victim that they have to stay in the relationship, or else they will have no rights to the property or finances. This is not true.

Anyone who has been in a de facto relationship is eligible to make a claim on the property of the relationship. TO do this:

  • You must have been living together for 2 years; or
  • You must have made a substantial contribution to the property of the relationship; or
  • There must be a child of the relationship

There is a time limit of 2 years after you have separated to make an application to court for property orders or orders for spousal maintenance. The court will look at the financial and the non-financial contribution to the relationship.

If you haven’t lived together and the abusive person owes you money, there must be some action you can take to get your money back. In this situation, it is best to seek legal advice.

It is important to protect your financial interests when you leave an abusive relationship. If your partner knows you PIN or the details of your bank account, you can talk to your bank about changing the details. If you have joint accounts or credit cards, contact your bank and talk to them about protecting your share of the money and making sure your partner does not run up any debts in your name.