Same sex relationships

Commonly asked questions about same sex relationships

If you and your partner live together as a couple on a domestic basis but are not legally married or related by family, then you are in a de facto relationship, irrespective of the gender of either party.

  • The duration of the relationship
  • The living arrangements
  • The existence of an exclusive relationship
  • The level of financial dependence or interdependence between the two parties
  • The ownership, use and acquisition of property
  • The degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
  • Whether the relationship is registered in a state or territory
  • The care and support of any children of the relationship
  • The public aspects and reputation of the relationship

The time limit for a person in a de facto relationship to apply to the court for a property settlement or maintenance order, is two years from the date of separation.

The Family Law Act and the Succession Act recognise certain relationships in the application of the law. The nature of your relationship will affect your legal rights should the relationship end or one member of the relationship pass away.

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