For the purposes of property settlement under the Family Law Act, a person is in a de facto relationship with another person if they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. This includes opposite and same sex couples.
- The Court must be satisfied of at least one of the following:-
- The period of the relationship is at least 2 years; or
- There is a child of the de facto relationship; or
- One of the parties made substantial contributions to the property and it would be unjust if property settlement orders were not made; or
- The de facto relationship was registered in a State or Territory.
The Court can consider all of the circumstances of the relationship to determine whether a de facto relationship existed. These include:
- the duration of their relationship
- the nature and extent of their common residence
- whether a sexual relationship exists
- the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them
- the ownership, use and acquisition of their property
- their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
- the care and support of children, and
- the reputation and public aspects of their relationship.