De Facto Relationships
If your de facto relationship is over, you should get legal advice to ensure that you are aware of your rights & entitlements. We provide prompt & considered legal advice.
What is a De Facto Relationship?
A de facto relationship is defined in the Family Law Act as a relationship where two people either of the same sex or different sex live together in a genuine domestic relationship.
A person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:
1. the persons are not legally married to each other; and
2. the persons are not related by family; and
3. having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
How long do I have to be in a relationship before it becomes de facto?
You must live with your partner in a genuine relationship for at least 2 years before it is considered a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act. However, if you separate before two years and you have children together or you will suffer financial hardship then there are exceptions.
To determine whether a relationship is de facto, the court will consider the following:
1. the duration of the relationship;
2. the nature and extent of their common residence;
3. whether a sexual relationship exists;
4. the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
5. the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
6. the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
7. whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
8. the care and support of children;
What happens if I separate from my de facto partner?
Unlike marriage, there is no requirement to make a Divorce Application, if you separate from your de facto partner.
General Information – De Facto Relationships
If your de facto relationship is over, you should get legal advice to ensure that you are aware of your rights and entitlements. You and your ex-partner can sort out your property and parenting matters by consent or financial agreement or if you are unable to come to an agreement you may file at Court to get resolution of your matter.
Your separation date is very important for financial and maintenance matters.
If you have children, it is best to separate amicably if possible and to keep children away from conflict.