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De Facto Relationships

When it comes to dividing up relationship property, you may ask what constitutes a de facto relationship?

A de facto relationship exists only when both parties are aged at least 18 and they are living together as a couple, but are not married to each other or in a civil union. These are the essential but not the only factors that go to determining whether a relationship is or has been de facto.

When deciding, the court will consider all the relevant circumstances, which may include:

  • the length of the relationship

  • the extent to which you shared a home;

  • the degree to which your finances were merged;

  • how your property was owned and used

  • whether you had a sexual relationship

  • how you cared for and supported any children either of you had;

  • who performed household duties;

  • your mutual commitment to a shared life;

  • whether others saw you as a couple; and

  • any other matters as seem appropriate.

For more guidance regarding this matter, please get in touch with our Relationship Property experts. 


This article is by Rachel Cooper -