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The Court takes a case-by-case approach to de facto relationships, meaning there is no clear cut manner to determine a de facto relationship ‘legally ‘exists. This can be confusing, as people are often left wondering whether or not their relationship constitutes a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act. The Court will look at the individual circumstances of the relationship to determine if a de facto relationship exists. These circumstances can include:

  • The length of the relationship
  • Living arrangements
  • Sexual relationships
  • Representation of the relationship to the public
  • If there are children, the nature of care for them
  • If the relationship was registered under state or territory law
  • Arrangements of finances
  • Any property owned together

If you are living with someone and you are unsure of your legal rights or what type of relationship you are categorised as, a member of our specialist divorce lawyers can assist you in clarifying any queries you may have. They will be able to provide you with information in regards to child custody rights and property settlements in the instance that the relationship breaks down.

Speak to one of them today!

For advice about the laws concerning de facto relationships contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.