De Facto Relationships
If you live with someone in a marriage like relationship (heterosexual, same sex, monogamous or polygamist) you may be in a de facto relationship. There is no clear test or formula of whether people are living in a de facto relationship, but the courts consider these factors set out below to decide if there was a de facto relationship.
- Have you lived together?
- How long is it you lived together?
- Whether other people think you are in a marriage or committed relationship
- Whether you had a sexual relationship
- Whether you are financially interdependent
- Whether you have children together or care for one another’s children
- Whether you undertake domestic tasks for one another
In Western Australia, if you have been in a de facto relationship for two years, or six months and had a child with your partner, or made a substantial financial contribution to the relationship, then you have a right to apply for a property settlement or spousal maintenance.
There are number of differences between Western Australia and the rest of Australia because of the constitutional arrangements concerning marriage and divorce. For example, in Western Australia, family courts do not have the power to divide superannuation of de facto partners, or to make orders affecting the trustee in bankruptcy if one of the parties to the relationship is bankrupt.
- Legal rights to property settlement and maintenance depend on having had a de facto relationship
- There is no fixed formula to decide if people were in a de facto relationship
- There are minimum requirements to meet to apply for a de facto relationship financial settlement
- De facto relationship property settlement in Western Australia is different from the rest of Australia