The term known as de facto relationship falls under the Property (Relationships) Act. Since the year 1999, this definition has expanded to cover every relationship that occurs between 2 adults who are over the age of 18 that:
Live in the same home and are defined as a couple
Are not married
Are not siblings and are not a child or parent of each-other
This now means that homosexual couples that are women or men are also covered by this particular law.
The Issues Relevant To De Facto Relationships
The law consists of various issues that are considered in the assessment on whether a de facto relationship exists will include the following:
The length of the relationship
Whether the 2 adults reside in one home
How the household duties are distributed
How far the individuals finances have become intertwined
Whether the couple own any assets together
The control and care of any children that have resulted from the relationship
Whether outside parties consider the couple as de facto
Whether the couple has intended that the relationship will remain permanent
The law now also refers to domestic relationships and will define this type of relationship as the following:
A de facto relationship
A personal and close relationship that occurs between adults who reside together and offer personal care and domestic support. However, if support and care is offered through government schemes or a fee, the relationship is not considered to be a domestic relationship.
Domestic relationships also include a relationship between parents, siblings and children. If an individual is in a type of domestic relationship, they too have the very same rights in relation to property division and maintenance as the individual who is in the de facto relationship.
Why These Laws Are Important
It is often of importance to establish when there is a de facto relationship in place as the law treats the de facto couples in a different way to married couples when it comes to the following:
Maintenance for a partner (not child-maintenance)
How property is divided
Entitlements that one partner may have over the other partners estate if they happen to die and they do not have a will
Are All The De Facto Relationships Covered?
Rights to maintenance and the application for property divisions will first depend on if the law views the relationship as a de facto relationship. The following circumstances that will be considered include the following:
The length of the relationship
Whether the couple has lived in the same home
How the couples finances have become intertwined
Whether the couple own the same assets
The control and care of children in this relationship
Whether outside parties view the relationship as de facto
Whether the partners involved intended to make their relationship permanent
Whether the couple is involved in a sexual-relationship
Social Security And De Facto Relationships
The Social Security Act does not use the term de facto but rather has specified criteria in place that decided whether two adults are known as a member of a couple.