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De Facto Relationship

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

Amelia Trotman

A person can be in a Defacto relationship with another person if and only if:

  • They are not related by blood; and
  • They are not legally married to one another; and
  • They live together on a genuine domestic basis.

If any of these criteria are not met then that person cannot be in a Defacto relationship under the Act.

Further to be in a Defacto relationship under the Act the parties must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • the parties relationship lasted for a period of no less than two years;
  • the parties have one or more children from their relationship;
  • One party made substantial contributions to the assets of the other party and if an Order was not made there would be serious injustice to the party who made the contributions;
  • The relationship was registered under prescribed State or Territory Law.


To assess whether or not you are in a Defacto relationship it is imperative to keep in mind that the Court will consider the following factors when making that assessment:

  • The total length of the relationship;
  • the nature and extent of the parties’ residence, for example did the parties purchase the property they are living in together, did they rent a property in joint names;
  • whether a sexual relationship existed;
  • the degree of financial dependence or interdependence on the parties, for example, whether the parties had a joint bank account;
  • the ownership, use and acquisition of the parties property, including how the property was purchased and in which parties name the property was registered;
  • the degree of the parties’ commitment to a shared life;
  • whether the parties relationship was registered under the prescribed law of a State or Territory;
  • the care of any children to the parties’ relationship;
  • the reputation of the parties relationship, for example were the parties family and friends consider that the parties were in a Defacto relationship.

If the Court can be satisfied of these elements the parties will be found to have been in a Defacto relationship.

where to next?

It is our aim to alleviate as much of the stress and uncertainty from our clients as possible. We do this by providing you with the information you need to understand the process and the family law system so that you feel calm and confident knowing the likely outcomes and how we will achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

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