De Facto Relationship

What is a de facto relationship?
A de facto relationship is a relationship where two people live together in a marriage-like relationship, but are  not married. Since 2002 de facto relationships have been recognised by the Family Court of Western Australia.

What factors are taken into account to decide if there is a de facto relationship?
The following factors set out in s 13A of the Interpretation Act 1984 are used to determine whether a de facto relationship exists between two people, but not all factors are essential:

  • The length of the relationship- in the Family Court it is usually at least two years
  • Whether you have lived together and for how long
  • Whether there is a sexual relationship
  • The extent that each of you were financially dependent on the other person
  • How you have chosen to own property and whether you own it together
  • The amount that each of you is committed to a shared life
  • Whether you care for or support children
  • The public aspects of your relationship

In Western Australia are same-sex relationships considered to be de facto relationships?
Yes, under Western Australian law, de facto relationships include same-sex relationships. 

Can de facto partners make an application in the Family Court in relation to division of their  assets after they separate?
Since 1 December 2002, the Family Court of Western Australia can  make decisions about property and partner maintenance for de facto couples, including same-sex couples if your relationship ended after 1 December 2002.

If you had separated before 1 December 2002, the Family Court of Western Australia  cannot assist you to finalise  property settlement.

Can I make an application for property settlement in the Family Court if  I was in a de facto relationship of less than two years
You may be able to if there is a child of the relationship or if you have made substantial financial contribution during the relationship and it will be unfair to deny you making an  application in the Family Court for property settlement.

Can the Family Court assist us to resolve issues in relation to children if our relationship ended before 1 December 2002?
Yes, the Family Court of Western Australia can assist you to resolve children’s issues even  if you had separated before 1 December 2002.

At Peel Legal Barristers & Solicitors we can assist you in relation to applying for and representing you in the Family Court for DNA testing to be undertaken.

Our staff are highly experienced in all areas of such practice and we pride ourselves on efficient, friendly and compassionate service.

Peel Legal Barristers & Solicitors website provide general information only not legal advice. Each client’s situation is unique and it is advisable to obtain legal advice to suit your individual needs

As the information is general, you should not rely on the accuracy or usefulness of the information to your particular situation. No representations are made regarding the accuracy or otherwise of the courtesy information provided under our services headings. Please ensure you obtain detailed and considered legal and financial advice.