A de facto relationship is normally defined as a relationship between two persons (same sex or different sex) who are not legally married or related by family and are living together on a genuine domestic basis.
Are we living together on a “genuine domestic basis??
There are a number of factors the court will consider when determining whether a de facto relationship exists between you and your partner including but not limited to:
- The duration of the relationship;
- The nature and extent of your common residence;
- Whether a sexual relationship exists;
- The degree of financial dependence or interdependence and any arrangements for financial support between you and your partner;
- The ownership, use and acquisition of any property;
- The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
- Whether the relationship has been registered;
- The procreation of children;
- The care and support of children;
- The performance of household duties; and
- The reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
The court has a wide discretion to give weight to whichever circumstances it thinks more relevant in making a determination as to whether a relationship exists. It is important to note that you do not need not be living together on a full time or part time basis for the court to consider there being a de facto relationship.
If I am in a de facto relationship can I gain assistance from the court?
When parties to a de facto relationship separate it is possible to access the Family Court in situations where the relationship has usually existed for a period of two years. There are some instances where proof of the two year period will not be required such as:
- Where you have a child together;
- Where one party has made substantial contributions to the relationship both financial and non-financial; or
- Where you have registered your relationship under the relevant state law which in Queensland is the Relationships Act 2011.
You have a time limit of two years from the date that your relationship ended to make a property claim against your former partner.