When is My Relationship Considered ‘De Facto’?

When is My Relationship Considered ‘De Facto’?

De facto relationships are becoming increasingly common in the modern world as less and less people marry at an early age. Instead, people often decide to live together without getting married, which leads to them being considered a ‘de facto’ couple under the eyes of the law at some point.

Now, there are important legal considerations that you need to be aware of once you are considered to be in a de facto relationship. The best way to understand these is to speak with your local family lawyer, but we’ve done our best to provide a brief overview below.

What is a de facto relationship?

The exact definition of a de facto relationship does differ by state in Australia, but basically it involves a serious relationship between two people who aren’t married, but who live together as if they are. There are a lot of things to think about when working out if you’re in a de facto relationship or not, including:

  • How long you’ve been together.
  • How long you’ve been living together. Usually you need to be living together at least part of the time to be considered de facto.
  • Whether there’s a sexual relationship and whether you have children together.
  • Whether you share joint bank accounts or own major joint assets.
  • Whether you act as if you’re married or in a serious relationship when you’re in public.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that contribute to help the law identify if you’re in a de facto relationship or not. If it’s particularly important for you to know then consider speaking to your local family lawyer.