4 Comments Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
According to the Family Law Act you are in a de facto relationship with another person if you are not legally married to each other, you are not related by family and you have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. You both need to meet the basic threshold criteria of a de facto relationship. The courts will recognise a de facto relationship by the following points: * How long you were in a relationship * Whether you lived together * If a sexual relationship existed * The financial arrangements in place * The way you owned, shared and used property * The degree of commitment you both had to a shared life together * If your relationship was registered in your State or Territory * The financial and physical care arrangements for your children * The reputation and public aspects of your relationship. If some or all of these factors can be established, you then need to show you lived together for two years or more before you are able to make a claim for a property settlement. No one factor is given more weight than the others.
Thanks Francene. I am looking for general rules of thumb to follow when allowing a girlfriend/partner (with whom one is having a sexual relationship) to stay over in one's house so that the risk of being judged to be in a De Facto relationship is minimised in the event of any future relationship breakdown. I realise that it is not possible to devise a water-tight strategy so I am just looking for general rules of thumb. Example rules I can think of might be:- 1. Avoid more than X nights a week of her staying overnight in your home (X=3 ?) 2. If the relationship is not going to last then make sure it ends before Y months (Y=24 ?) 3. Do not give her a key to the house 4. Do not allow her to use your address for receiving mail 5. Don't allow her clothes to be stored in your wardrobes 6. Make sure all food consumed in the house is purchased by you and she does not bring groceries to the house. 7. When travelling away somewhere without her, advise her to get any of her belongings from your house that she needs before you leave, as she will not have access. 8. Do not mix finances 9. Do not have children If you have any suggestions to add or comments to make on these example rules that would be useful. Sorry to anyone reading if the list sounds a bit calculating, but, unfortunately, that is the nature of relationships when looking at them from a legal risk perspective.