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This is a cause of much confusion in the community. Just because you move in with your
significant other does not necessarily mean that you are in a de facto relationship for family
law or estate purposes.

In determining whether there is a de facto relationship a court would take into consideration
the following matters:-

1. The length of the relationship;
2. To what extent and under what arrangements the parties live together;
3. Was there a sexual relationship;
4. The financial dependence or independence of the parties. Did you share expenses?
Did you have separate bank accounts? Etc;
5. The acquisition, ownership and use of property;
6. The degree of commitment by both parties to a shared life;
7. The care and support of children, either your own or otherwise;
8. The performance of household duties; and
9. How you projected your relationship to others.

Before making property orders where a de facto relationship is alleged, a court must be satisfied that:

a) the parties had a child together; or
b) the couple lived together for at least two years; or
c) the applicant made substantial domestic or property contributions or cared for the
other party’s child; or
d) the relationship is or was registered under a law of the State.

In NSW, in order to challenge a will an individual must be an eligible person. A de facto
partner may have to prove that they satisfy the requirements to be recognised as having
been in a de facto relationship. The factors as outlined above (1-9), will be used to make this
determination.

If you would like to discuss the above with our principal, Kym Chapman, please contact her on 0416102577.
Kym Chapman & Associates provide legal advice for Northern NSW and have offices based in Byron Bay and
Cabarita.