The simple answer is “Yes”. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) contains similar provisions that apply to both married and de facto couples.
What constitutes a de facto relationship? A de facto relationship exists where a couple who are not married or related has been living together on a “genuine domestic basis” and they have either:
- been living together for at least 2 years; or
- there is a child of the relationship; or
- a party to a defacto relationship made substantial contributions and a failure to make an order or a declaration would result in a serious injustice to that party.
As to whether a defacto relationship exists any of the following can be relevant:-
- the duration of the relationship;
- the nature and extent of their common residence;
- whether a sexual relationship exists;
- the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
- the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
- the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
- whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
- the care and support of children;
- the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.