When does a relationship qualify as de facto?
If you live with your partner, your relationship is legally considered a de facto relationship from a general perspective.
However, the exact definition of a de facto relationship varies depending on why the relationship is being categorised.
For example, if you’re applying to Studylink for a student allowance, they will consider that you are in a de facto relationship if you and your partner are aged 16 or older and ‘have a relationship in the nature of marriage’ (e.g. you live together, share your living costs and are emotionally committed to each other).
The Family Court, on the other hand, uses different criteria to categorise a relationship for the division of property after a separation or death. A relationship generally falls under the Relationships (Property) Act 1976 when a couple has been married, in a civil union and/or living together for at least three years. However, the Family Court looks at many other factors when defining a relationship.
Note: This post is brief and general in nature. You should not treat it as legal advice and should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this post. Armstrong Murray accepts no liability for losses suffered by any person or organisation who may rely directly or indirectly on this post.