In November 2008 the Family Law Amendment Act came into existence, which meant that a couple in a de-facto relationship would have their relationship recognised under the Family Law Act. In other words, if you are in a de-facto relationship you have the same legal rights and obligations as those who are married. This applies to both hetrosexual and same sex relationships.

What is the meaning of a de-facto relationship and how do you know if you are in a de-facto relationship?

The Family Law Act provides some guidelines as to how to determine if a de-facto relationship exists or not. You may be in a de-facto relationship if your circumstances include one or all of the following:

  • The length of the parties relationship;
  • If the parties live together under the same roof;
  • The degree of financial dependence or independence between them;
  • Whether a sexual relationship exists;
  • If the parties have a mutual commitment to a shared life;
  • Whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
  • The ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
  • The care and support of children;
  • The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

There are occasions that is can be difficult to establish the existence of a de-facto relationship. Upon commencement of residing with a partner or separating from a partner you may want to seek legal advice as to where you stand regarding your financial position. There are measures that can be put in place to protect your position. If you require legal advice about your relationship, contact our office on the Gold Coast & Brisbane for a free consultation with one of our family law solicitors on (07) 5574 0971