Defacto Relationships

Understand your rights when ending a defacto relationship

What is a Defacto Relationship?

Defacto relationships can occur between persons of same sex, or different sexes. A person can be in a de facto relationship despite being legally married to another person.

Generally speaking to qualify as being in a de facto relationship, parties must live together for a period of two years. The time will be shortened in cases where a child has been conceived or born, or where there has been significant financial contributions, or acquisitions.

Proving a defacto relationship

Often the biggest hurdle for parties wanting to make a property claim at the end of a relationship, is to prove that there was a defacto relationship. Generally the court will consider a range of factors in deciding whether parties were in a de facto relationship, including:

  • The couple must not be married to one another, or related to one another
  • Must have a relationship as a couple, living together on a genuine domestic basis
  • The duration of the relationship
  • The nature and extent of their common residence
  • Whether a sexual relationship exists
  • Financial interdependence, or financial support
  • Mutual commitment to a shared life
  • Ownership and acquisition of property
  • Registration of relationship
  • Birth or care of child or children

To initiate a property settlement after the breakdown in a defacto relationship, time limits apply. An application must be filed within 2 years of the breakdown in the relationship.

Applications can be filed after 2 years in certain circumstances.

If your defacto relationship has broken down we suggest that you book in and talk to one of our experts to get tailored advice relating to your circumstances.

Time limits apply

Why choose our family lawyers?

Family law cases are dynamic and diverse, and require personalised advice and attention. Our family lawyers will provide you with tailored advice each step of the way.

Our family lawyers have dealt with a wide variety of complex family law issues, including matters involving:-

  • Separation where one or both parties owned a business
  • Family violence, including coercive and controlling abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse
  • Large property pools with complex assets
  • Hair follicle, urinalysis, and blood testing, for drugs of abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, and performance enhancing drugs such as steroids
  • Parenting after separation and behaviour change courses
  • DNA testing for parentage
  • Recovery orders
  • Separation where the parties have significantly different earning capacities.
  • Relocation, within Australia and abroad
  • Grandparents and non-parent carers
  • Children and parents with special needs and/or mental health issues

Contact us to talk to one of our friendly family lawyers today.

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