What is a de facto relationship?
To be in a de facto relationship:
• You must be a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis;
• You can be of the same or different gender;
• You must not be legally married to each other;
• You must not be related.
Factors considered by the Court in determining the existence of a de facto relationship include:
(a) The duration of the relationship;
(b) The nature and extent of a common residence;
(c) Whether a sexual relationship exists;
(d) The degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support between the parties;
(e) The ownership, use and acquisition of property;
(f) The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
(g) Whether the relationship is or was registered under State or Territory law as a prescribed kind of relationship;
(h) The care and support of the children;
(i) The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
A de facto relationship can exist even if:
• The parties live in separate cities;
• The relationship is not exclusive;
• They do not live together full time;
• There is no sexual relationship.
By contrast, a de facto relationship may not exist even if the parties have a child together. Each case is decided on its facts. Some facts may indicate a de facto relationship existed and others may indicate that it did not. There may also be contradictory indications that the de facto relationship started or ended at a particular time.