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De Facto Law

What is de facto law?

The literal meaning of de facto is “concerning fact”. In the legal perspective it could be described as “in practice but not ordained by law or not officially established”. It is usually used to contrast matters of de jure which means “concerning the law”. While discussing legal situations, de jure is used to describe what the actual law states whereas de facto is referred to the actual facts or what happens in practice. Below are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about De Facto laws.

I have been raising my grandson for eight years and now his father wants custody though he has not provided any financial support. Does Arizona have de facto custody laws?

A petition for de facto custody or non parent custody can be made by grandparents who have been raising their grandchild. As a grandparent you have a legal right as you have raised your grandson for the last eight years. While reviewing the petition the court considers the quality of your grandson’s life while living with you as opposed to lack of parental involvement. Ultimately the court will look at circumstances which are best suitable for the child. In addition to filing for custody of the child, you can also file an order for child support for the last eight years. The parent can object to your petition and this could have an influence on the court’s ruling. It would be wise to hire the services of a lawyer as this would be a complex process and would need the experience of a professional.

I was in a de facto relationship for nine years where I was engaged to my partner and we were living together. The mortgage of our home was paid through a joint bank account. Now we have separated and my name is still on the debt. I would like to stake a claim on the property. What are my options?

While being in a de facto relationship, if you have contributed towards the mortgage of the property, you would have some reasonable right on the property since your former partner was accepting payments for this purpose. Even if your name is not on the title of the property you would have certain specific rights which need to be assessed preferably by a real estate lawyer. A matrimonial lawyer would also be useful in your case even though you were not married at that point. This is because there may be some rights your jurisdiction may recognize under common law marriage or palimony rights.

The Louisiana legislature did not declare any official languages but the de facto languages were French and English. A group of people requested the local newspaper be printed in French as well but the owner is not complying. What can be done?

In 1845 the Constitution and Legislature declared the official government material be published in both languages as many officials were of French or foreign origin. However the law did not sanctify any particular language as the “official language” nor did it require private enterprises including local newspapers to publish in French. Hence though English and French were used de facto, there is no mandate that only one language is official or a local publishing agency is required to publish their papers in French.

My ex-wife’s 17 year old daughter wants to move in with me. I am not her biological father but I have taken care of her from two weeks to 13 years. If I can financially support her how can I get legal custody of her?

You would need to prove and argue at court you were the “de facto” parent to the child and seek standing custody of her. The main aspect is to convince the court, her being with you serves for the child’s best interests. At 17 years of age, her testimony and wishes will also be considered by the court. Texas does recognize the de facto parent child relationship but it would be advisable to hire an attorney to fight the predisposed favoritism of the court towards the biological parent.

De facto law takes into consideration the actual facts or what is done in practice. It is not considered a law by itself or legally binding. However you may have certain rights with respect to being in a de facto situation. To have your questions answered and doubts clarified about your particular situation concerning de facto law, consulting Experts would be effective and useful.
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Recent De Facto Questions

  • A Florida Condo director wants to pick a condo manager by a

    A Florida Condo director wants to pick a condo manager by a form of popularity contest using volunteer unit owners to assess different candidates and then, by a system of voting with some Board members, choose the winner.
    I believe that the Board has a fiduciary duty to pick the manager and that said duty cannot in whole or in part be delegated to others. Nor, as has been suggested, can said delegation be framed as a mere non binding 'recommendation' to the Board.
    I believe the entire process must remain in the hands of the Board.
    Any input by others, if it occurs at all, must occur on an unofficial basis in the form of any comments anyone wishes to offer about anyone. But without said viewpoint carrying any more moral or legal weight than any other person's comment.
    Particularly when the full information on candidates, having been obtained confidentially, is shown only to the few selected to the Committee on hiring a manager. Thus providing those unit owners with a de facto insight no-one else not on the Committee or the Board has.
  • Good day. The following pertains to Durham, which is to

    Good day.

    The following pertains to Durham, which is to say my zip code is 27713. I'm somewhat embarrassed to advise that I'm not sure if my house is in Durham City or Durham County, despite the zip code.

    At issue:

    My tenant broke her lease two months short of termination (left in Jan 2014; lease ends 31 March 2014), and appears to be trying to avoid having to pay those last two months AND get her $2900 security deposit back ($2900 almost equals two months' rent), under pretenses of a domestic violence provision in NC rental law.

    She was a tenant for four years -- with no previous domestic violence incidents of which I'm aware -- and appears to want to use 42-51 and 42-51.1 to avoid paying rent for the last two months, which would be allowable unless provisions of 42-51 applied, as I understand this law (I'm not a lawyer). This tenant works in NC housing, so is familiar with the law. I doubt, though, if she complied with items i, ii, or iii of 42-51.1, or has a documented need to relocate from the premises.

    If she did not comply with the above provisions of the law, does she have a case to avoid paying rent AND claiming her $2900 sec dep (for anything above normal wear and tear, of which there are documented instances), or can my Property Manager use the sec dep in lieu of rent when the lease ends 31 March?

    Also, would she have had to file a police report re a domestic violence claim?

    If she sues my Property Manager, is she de facto sueing me, too?

    And if she sues me while knowing she doesn't have a case, is that frivolous and would I have legal recourse for harassment?

    Thanks in advance for your kind consideration.

    Chuck and Karen
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    12. ASSIGNMENT AND DELEGATION. (a) No Assignment. The Contractor may not assign any of his rights under this agreement, except with the prior written consent of the Company, which consent may not be unreasonably withheld. All voluntary assignments of rights are limited by this subsection. (b) No Delegation. The Contractor may not delegate any performance under this agreement, except with the prior written consent of the Company, which consent may not be unreasonably withheld.
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