De Facto  Relationships & Family Law

Understanding De Facto Relationship Entitlements

It is important to make an appointment at one of our offices in Penrith or Wollongong if you are in a de facto partnership and your relationship has broken down.

The law has very specific requisites in this area.  Our Family Law Accredited Specialist, Adam West & his team understand the complexities of the law in this regard.  It is important to understand what the definition of a de facto relationship is in the eyes of the law. 

Under Australian law, a de facto relationship is a relationship between two consenting adults that are not married to each other or related to each other by family, who are living together as a couple, on a domestic basis, regardless of gender. This can include a same sex relationship.

Although there is no legal ceremony to gain de facto status, the laws according to the Family Law Act  take into account when determining a ruling:

  1. How long the relationship has been going,
  2. The nature and extent of the common residence.
  3. Whether a sexual relationship is present,
  4. The financial dependence or interdependence of the two parties,
  5. The ownership and use of property,
  6. The extent of mutual commitment to having a shared life together,
  7. How any children will be cared for and supported,
  8. The performance of household duties,
  9. The public reputation of the relationship

The party who makes the official lodgement  for official court recognition must also satisfy one of the following:

  • The de facto relationship must have been going on for at least two years 


  • A child exists in the de facto relationship


  • The relationship was officially registered as per the law of a State or Territory.


 Are there any time limitations?

It is important to note in the case of de facto relationships, there is a period of 2 years from the time of separation in which court proceedings are to be instituted.

If you find yourself in a relationship which is in difficulty and separation is on the horizon then it is preferable that you obtain advice from an our experienced Family Law solicitors before you separate.

By seeking legal advice on de facto relationships early on you can prevent long expensive litigation in the future. You can avoid potential issues by entering into a financial agreement at the time of or during a relationship. You can contact our team to put together a BFA ( binding financial agreement) for you.

See our video on Adam's top 3 tips for Defacto Relationship Law.

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Learn more  with our useful articles and our Frequently Asked Questions section.