Domestic partnership is the new name for a defacto relationship; the definition of which has changed significantly in Australia in the last 20 years. Previously confined to heterosexual couples living together for at least two years, those same rules no longer apply.

Under the Family Law Act a couple can be in a domestic partnership as long as they live together under a genuine domestic basis and aren’t married to each other or related by family.

They don’t, however, have to live together, and can be legally married to someone else or in another domestic partnership.

When considering whether your relationship is considered a domestic partnership, the following circumstances will be included:

  • Length of the relationship
  • The nature and extent of a common residence
  • Whether there is a sexual relationship between the parties
  • The degree of financial dependence and any financial support
  • The ownership, use and acquisition of property
  • The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
  • Whether the relationship is registered under a State law
  • The care and support of children
  • The reputation and public aspects of the relationship

If you are in a domestic relationship, make a free, no-obligation appointment with Linna at Hume Taylor & Co to discuss potential family law consequences, whether you need a binding financial agreement, your estate planning and ensure you are prepared for your future.