A defacto relationship exists when two people, who are not married or related by family, live together in a “genuine domestic relationship”. It can exist between people of the opposite sex, or people of the same sex.
Since 1 March 2009, when the court is asked to consider the division of property for defacto couples the same law that applies to married couples is the law to be applied. This means that defacto couples access the Family Law Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court.
Parties must apply to the court within 2 years of the relationship breaking down unless there are special circumstances and then the court mat grant leave to make the application “out of time”.