Traditionally the law applicable to de facto relationships has been very different to the law applicable to marital relationships. Since 2009 however, the Family Court has had jurisdiction in both marriages and de facto relationships and the provisions which apply to de facto relationships are now very similar to those which apply to marriage couples.
The precise definition of a de facto relationship is complicated but generally a de facto relationship exists when parties have lived together for no less than two years (unless there is a child of the relationship).
Many reported cases have recognised the extended definition of a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act. In some cases where one or another of the parties didn’t believe they were “living together” the Court has found that there was indeed a de facto relationship at law.
We reiterate that the law on de facto relationships is a complicated law and that we can provide initial advice before trying to resolve any de facto property dispute.