What factors define a de facto relationship?

The Court takes a number of factors into consideration when looking to determine whether two people were in a de facto relationship, for example:

  • the duration of the relationship;
  • the nature and extent of “common residence”;
  • whether a sexual relationship exists;
  • the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
  • the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
  • the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
  • whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
  • the care and support of children;
  • the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

There is no order or priority as to each of these circumstances, and the Court does not have to be satisfied as to any particular factor or number of factors. Rather, each case taken on its own circumstances.