The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 provides that a de facto relationship is between two people, who are both over 18 years and live together, but are not married or in a civil union with one another. In deciding whether it is de facto relationship or not, the Court will consider such factors as:
(a) the duration of the relationship;
(b) the nature and extent of common residence;
(c) whether or not a sexual relationship exists;
(d) the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between the parties;
(e) the ownership, use, and acquisition of property;
(f) the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
(g) the care and support of children;
(h) the performance of household duties;
(i) the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
The Court does look at a de facto relationship similarly to marriage or civil union. Therefore it is important to seek robust legal advice early to ensure that if the relationship does end, your property is protected, preventing any surprises.
If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This article does not constitute legal advice. You should obtain specific advice before you make any decisions or take any action based upon information contained herein.