If you live with your partner, but are not married, you still have the same rights and obligations as a married couple in circumstances of separation. This applies to both same sex and heterosexual defacto relationships.
You are considered to be in a domestic partnership if you have lived with your partner for at least 2 years (or an aggregate of 2 years) or you have a child together. In this case, the Family Law Act 1975 (“the Act”) will apply.
When working out settlement details, the Act will consider the following details:
- The nature of your relationship and how it would be viewed in public
- The length of your relationship
- The extent of cohabitation
- The financial relationship, specifically dependency of finances in the relationship
- Joint purchases of assets including real estate
- The care and support given to children of the relationship
To make a claim, you must meet the test to be considered a de facto relationship (aggregate of 2 year relationship or a child of the relationship) or you must prove that substantial financial or non-financial contributions were made to a property or as a homemaker or parent and that serious injustice would result to one partner if an Order was not made. Alternatively, if the de facto relationship has been registered pursuant to the Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA) then you are able to make a claim.