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Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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Who is the next of kin in a 5 year de-facto relationship

Customer Question

Who is the next of kin in a 5 year de-facto relationship where the male partner now has had a medical condition of about 14 months, that keeps him in hospital. He drifts in & out of consciousness with no realisation of where he is or of who is present, as well no speech. His mother is taking full control, overriding his partners rights.[be what they may?] They have a shared assets, no children of this partnership. He has accepted the females child, now 8yrs old. He has the full backing of the female's family. [But barrack for the wrong team] The families reside in Queensland. But I cannot find the help to set us on the right path. There seems not suggestions in this type of situation. As he was the bread winner, the mother has managed to gain full control of her partner's pension, leaving his de-facto wife with very little money to survive, bringing up the de-facto family. She has temporary employment engaged in shift work which then create other family members to arrange pick ups, sleep-overs w/e's etc. who also work & have their own children at different schools. I believe she is lucky gaining employment in Qld. as with other States. I am in Victoria & leave for Qld. next Thursday to try to assist, but being an oldie the younger's say "What do you know" Sure, at 79 I know nothing.
I hope you can suggest an avenue to follow in this type of problem. I am aware of the document "Enduring Guardian" But I would think that both parties would have to be there. ??? Thank you, ***** ***** to others, Obliged Daryl.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

They have to be together for 2 years to be a defacto couple and if there is no other spouse then the parents are their next of kin and have the right to look after them and make decisions. So in this case 5 years is enough.

If he has given an enduring guardianship to someone when he was of sound mind then that person makes the decisions over all others.

If there are not documents then the parties can go to QCAT and seek an order for guardianship.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance.