What Determines A De Facto Relationship?

By on Sep 19, 2016 in Legal & Relationships |

As discussed previously a de facto relationship is defined in Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975. This law requires that you and your former partner, who may be the same or opposite sex had a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis and are not married nor related by family . What determines whether you have a de facto relationship or not, though, besides the courts that is what? Join us as we take a look at some determining factors to see if you are in or were previously in a de facto relationship.

If you take a look at the Family Law Act you can find a list of factors that are taken into consideration when trying to determine whether a relationship is de facto or not.

  • Duration of the relationship, has the relationship continued for at least 2 years?
  • Nature of the household – living together…not living together…
  • Does a sexual relationship exist?
  • Degree of financial dependence or interdependence between the individuals involved
  • Property ownership – does anyone own property…whose name is it in, when was it purchased, etc.
  • Nature of the commitment to each other.
  • Is the relationship registered under the prescribed law of a state or territory?
  • Care and support of children and are the children from this relationship?
  • How does the public view the relationship?

While there are many other aspects and things to consider these are probably the most commonly looked at aspects in determination. Ultimately the courts have the final say in whether a relationship will be considered de facto or not. Well, in such a case, have a specialist divorce lawyer on your side.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can still be considered in a de facto relationship even if one or both parties in the relationship are married to other people or in other de facto relationships. You may also be in a de facto relationship whether with individuals of the same or opposite sex.

This is where things can get a bit confusing and even tricky. It is best to consult with a legal representative who will be able to give you the advice and information you will need and they can even break it down into terms that are easier to understand instead of the legal jargon used most often. The other reason it is a good idea to seek legal council is the loopholes and exceptions. There are always exceptions to laws and such and your legal team would be able to help you determine if you are eligible for any of these exceptions.