De Facto Relationships

What is a de facto?


Under the Family Law Act, a relationship is considered de facto when a couple have lived together for at least 2 years. This is a relationship between two people who are not legally married.

What makes a relationship de facto?

When assessing if you are in a de facto relationship, five factors will be considered. These include financial aspects of the relationship, nature of the household, social aspects of the relationship, presence of sexual relationship and the nature of commitment.


Financial aspects of the relationship include paying for household expenses.

Nature of the household relates to whether or not the couple are living under the same roof. Social aspects consider how the couple interact with others in social settings.

Nature of commitment relates to emotional attachment and  companionship in the relationship.

What happens if our relationship breaks down?

Separation of de facto relationships have similar aspects of divorce, requiring the division of assets and liabilities.  

When a de facto relationship, if you would like to make a claim you have a two year time period from the date of the breakdown to commence legal proceedings.

To see if your relationship qualifies as de facto or for matters regarding separation chat to our friendly legal team.