De facto relationships can be as complicated as formal married relationships. A same-sex couple in a committed domestic relationship is also recognised as a de facto relationship and the Family Law Act applies.
It’s important to note that simply moving in together creates property entitlements under the Family Law Act. Although exceptions apply in terms of remedies available, generally speaking a couple must have lived together on a genuine domestic basis for a minimum of 2 years before separation. One of the exceptions in a short relationship to this rule is where there’s a child of the relationship or where a significant financial contribution has been made by one party.
There are some important differences between married couples and de facto couples, primarily that of the time limits that apply. The de facto couple have two years from separation to formalise any property division.
There have been recent cases where a de facto couple did not share the same roof but the court still found there was a de facto relationship in existence.
Such situations bring their own complexities and our family lawyers can help you with any queries you may have in this area