A de facto relationship is one where the parties are not legally married, but are treated as a married couple for the purposes of the Family Law Act.
There are a number of factors within the Act that determine whether or not two people are in a de facto relationship. These include:
- How long the parties have been in a relationship together
- Whether they share a home
- Whether they are sexually intimate
- How financially intermingled they are
- Whether they make joint purchases and use their property jointly
- Whether there are children of the relationship
- Whether they publicly represent as a couple
If there is a dispute about whether two people were in a de facto relationship, the court will review these factors to make a decision.
Under the Family Law Act, a same-sex de facto relationship is treated no differently. People in a same-sex de facto relationship are able to seek both parenting and property settlement orders from the Family Law Courts.
If your de facto relationship breaks down, you can seek a property settlement in the Family Law Courts within two years after the breakdown. You can apply for a de facto property settlement after this time only in special circumstances and with leave of the court. If you have children, you are able to apply for parenting orders at any time.
Our expert team of de facto relationship lawyers in Adelaide can guide you through the process.