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Family Law

Myths About De Facto Relationships in Australia

By June 6, 2017No Comments

By Annabel Sturgeon

There are quite a few misconceptions about de facto relationships in Australia. A big one being that marriage is the only way to be legally ‘bound’ to another person, this is not the case. De facto relationships follow the same rules as marriage.

In Australia a de facto relationship is defined in the Family Law Act 1975 as follows;


(1) A person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:

(a) the persons are not legally married to each other; and

(b) the persons are not related by family (see subsection (6)); and

(c) having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.”


Rachel Scharrer, founder of debunks 5 common myths surrounding de facto relationships, including;

‘If we break up, we don’t have to divide our assets.’

‘If we never get married, we never have to get divorced.’

‘We need to live together for six months before we’re considered de facto.’

‘Same sex couples aren’t recognised in family law.’

‘The Family Court can’t make orders regarding children of a de facto relationship.’

To find out what Rachel has to say about these myths, go to

Do you need assistance with a family law matter? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.  For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance to arrange a free first conference.


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