De Facto Relationship

Family Law

According to the Family Law Act of 1975, a de facto relationship is one in which two persons (who are not legally married or related by blood) cohabitate in a true domestic setting while considering all the conditions of their connection. De facto relationships, through section 4AA of the Family Law Act of 1975, protect the growing number of couples who cohabit but do not get married. 

De facto relationships can exist between people of the same sex or people who are not. Even if someone is officially married to someone else, they might still be in a de facto relationship. In general, parties must live together for two years to be considered in a de facto partnership. If a child has been conceived or born, or if there have been sizable financial donations or acquisitions, the period of time will be shortened. 

When determining whether two people have been in a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act of 1975, the rules are less clear-cut, and there is an additional layer of complexity because the Court instead considers the following factors: –  

  • The length of the relationship (i.e., whether the parties have lived together for two years or longer); 
  • whether there was a sexual relationship;  
  • whether there were any children; 
  • whether the parties had a sexual relationship; 
  • The size and type of the parties’ shared dwelling, their level of financial reliance, and 
  • their level of shared commitment to a common way of life. 
  • The relationship’s public image and repute; or 
  • possession, use, and acquisition of the property of the parties. 

The Courts have made it plain that neither the presence of all the elements mentioned above is required nor that one aspect will be accorded more weight than another. 

In addition, a de facto relationship can exist even if one of the parties is officially married to someone else or in a different de facto relationship with someone else, according to both the law and the courts. De facto couples frequently have the issue of proving these facts if the other party disputes them. In contrast, married couples only need to show their marriage certificate to verify the existence or duration of their marriage. 

To make sure you meet the relationship requirements before submitting your application and to ensure that you can provide enough evidence (if necessary) of your relationship for the Courts to declare that a de facto relationship existed, it is highly recommended that you seek professional legal advice. If you do not, it could result in various financial repercussions. 

Applicants have two years from the date of the relationship’s breakup to file a claim after separation under the de facto status. Either the de facto relationship has been going on for at least two years; the kid of the relationship is a child of both the de facto parties; one or both of the de facto parties contributed significantly to the joint property pool, making it unfair not to make a property adjustment; o the relationship is or was registered under the Relationships Act 2011 (Queensland) as a predetermined type of relationship, for instance in Queensland; 

A person in a de facto relationship who wants to safeguard your entitlement may wish to sign a legally binding financial arrangement (what might be more commonly known as a cohabitation agreement). 

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