A "de facto" relationship is where two people who are not married or related by family, are in a relationship as a couple on a genuine domestic basis".There are a number of factors that may indicate a de facto relationship. Here we list the type of evidence that may be required to prove the existence of a de facto relationship.

The duration of the relationship

  • The relationship lasted for more than two years, although there are some exceptions in certain circumstances
  • The longer the relationship exists, the stronger the argument that the relationship was a "de facto relationship"

The nature and extent of their common residence

  • Whether the couple cohabited during the course of the relationship
  • Payment of board or rent by one of the couple to the other
  • Address or residence of couple in official correspondence, on their licences, the electoral roll, and other government agencies and income tax returns etc.

Whether a sexual relationship exists

  • The frequency of the couple's sexual relationship
  • The mutual exclusivity of the couple's sexual relationship

The degree of financial dependence or interdependence

  • Joint ownership of property
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Health insurance in joint names
  • Payment towards joint mortgage(s) and / or loans
  • Sharing of household and other expenses
  • Income tax returns of the couple

The ownership, use, and acquisition of their property

  • Joint ownership of real estate (or discussions around purchasing one)
  • Living together in a property
  • Payments towards the mortgage of a property owned by one of the couple
  • Purchase of furniture and chattels
  • Beneficiaries under the couple's superannuation policies

The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life

  • Living together in a common residence
  • Spending regular time together and with friends and family
  • Conversations and statements the couple make to each other and to others about each other
  • Attending functions together such as weddings, engagement parties, and other functions
  • Sharing meals
  • Regular telephone conversations
  • Assisting with the care of each other's children
  • Whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a state or territory as a prescribed kind of relationship

The care and support of children

  • Whether the couple has children together or from other relationships
  • Whether the couple care for or financially support the children
  • Transporting children to various activities or school

The reputation and public aspects of the relationship, evidence of the parties socialising together

  • Attending functions together such as weddings, engagement parties, and other functions
  • Whether invitations to functions are addressed to both of the couple and whether there are photographs of the couple together at the functions
  • How the couple refer to each other
  • Provisions in the couple's wills
  • Beneficiaries under the couple's superannuation policies