De Facto Relationships


De facto relationships in Western Australia fall within the jurisdiction of the Family Court Act 1997. De facto legislation also includes parties to a same sex relationship.

If you fall within the requirements that define a de facto relationship as stated below, then we strongly suggest that you formalise any agreement with regard to financial or children’s matters. Without formal agreement, it is possible for future claims to be made against each party’s financial interests, even if you have been separated for an extended period.

The process of formalising property and/or children’s issues for de facto partners is a similar process as for married couples.

Important Information to Know

  • De Facto partners can only make application for property orders or maintenance if they separated after 1 December 2002.
  • De facto partners can generally only make application for property orders within two years of the date of separation, but there are other qualifying circumstances which can be explained by our professional team at Dimond Family Lawyers. 

How do I know if my relationship was a “de facto relationship”?

The following requirements must be satisfied to confirm the existence of a de facto relationship:

  1. That you have lived in a de facto relationship with the other party for at least two years; or
  2. That you have lived in a de facto relationship for less than two years but:
    • There is a child of the relationship (under 18 years) and failure to make the order sought would result in serious injustice to the party caring or responsible for the children; or
    • The partner applying for the order has made substantial financial, non-financial or homemaker/parent contributions (whilst resident in Western Australia) and failure to make the order would result in serious injustice;
  3. That you and your partner resided in Western Australia for at least one third of the total duration of the relationship.

Our experienced professional team are able to advise you of the appropriate strategy for your specific circumstances to provide you with the most time and cost effective approach.