De Facto Lawyers


De facto relationships come with their own set of legal complexities that can be hard to navigate without expert guidance. 

That’s why you need the best de facto lawyers in Melbourne, professionals who are well-versed in the Family Law Act 1975 and have a track record of handling family law matters.

Defacto Law

Message Us!


    • De facto separation & divorce: Legal assistance for ending a de facto relationship, similar to divorce proceedings.
    • Property Matters: Help with the division of assets and property settlements between de facto partners.
    • IVO – Intervention Order: Legal support for intervention orders, which may be relevant in cases involving domestic violence or harassment.
    • Consent Orders: Assistance formalising agreements between de facto partners, often related to property or child custody.
    • Child Custody Lawyers: Legal advice and representation for matters involving child custody between de facto partners.
    • Prenups & Binding Financial Agreements: Help with financial agreements between de facto partners, similar to prenuptial marriage agreements.

    Message Us!

      Why You Should Trust Our De Facto Relationship Lawyers

      When navigating the complexities of family law, Melbourne Family Lawyers stands as a beacon of expertise and compassion.

      With a specialisation solely in Australian and International Family Law cases, our team of specialists brings over 35 years of experience.

      We offer a client-first approach, consistently receiving high praise for exceeding customer expectations.

      Whether you’re dealing with divorce, property matters, or international family law, our tailored and cost-effective solutions aim to make every step as stress-free as possible.

      What sets us apart is our transparent communication and commitment to achieving optimal results for you and your family.

      With a proven track record and a unique perspective brought by a team headed by an Olympic athlete, Melbourne Family Lawyers is not just another law firm; it’s a dedicated partner in safeguarding your future.

      Our Family Lawyers

      Our lawyers have vast experience in Family Law. Whether your case involves a 50 million dollar business or a suburban house, a relocation with children to Preston or Paris, or a Divorce Application in Melbourne or Mumbai, rest assured that we know how to deal with it in the best possible way and obtain the best possible result for you.

      What Does the Law Say About De Facto Relationships?

      The first step is to understand what the law says. According to the Family Law Act 1975, a de facto relationship involves two adults who live together as a couple but are not married. This definition can vary slightly depending on your jurisdiction, so it’s essential to consult local laws.

      How Long Have You Been Together?

      Duration matters. The length of time you’ve been in the relationship can be a determining factor. Some jurisdictions have a minimum duration requirement for a relationship to qualify as de facto.

      In Melbourne, for a relationship to qualify as de facto under family law, the couple must have been in a de facto relationship for at least two years or have a child born in their de facto relationship.

      Do You Live Together?

      Living arrangements are another critical factor. While cohabitation is often a strong indicator of a de facto relationship, some jurisdictions recognise relationships even if the couple doesn’t live together full-time. Ask yourself, “Do we share a home?”

      Are You Financially Interdependent?

      Financial ties can be a strong indicator. Do you have joint bank accounts, shared expenses, or mutual investments? This could point to a de facto relationship if your finances are closely linked.

      Do You Own Property Together?

      Property ownership can be a significant factor. Do you and your partner own assets like a home or a car together? Joint ownership can strengthen your case for being in a de facto relationship.

      Do You Have Children Together?

      Children often solidify the status of a relationship. If you have children together, this is usually a strong indicator that your relationship is considered de facto under the law.

      How Does Society View Your Relationship?

      Social perception can also play a role. How do your friends, family, and social media portray your relationship? If your relationship is publicly acknowledged and socially accepted as akin to a marriage, this can help establish its de facto status.

      Have You Sought Legal Advice?

      When in doubt, consult an expert. If you still need to figure out the status of your relationship, it’s wise to consult a family lawyer specialising in de facto relationships. They can provide personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

      Get a free personalised welcome pack in minutes


      You’re generally considered to be in a de facto relationship when you and your partner live together in a relationship resembling a marriage or civil partnership but are not legally married or related by family. The criteria can vary by jurisdiction, but common factors include:

      • The duration of the relationship.
      • The nature of the household.
      • Financial interdependence.

      While living together strongly indicates a de facto relationship, it’s not always a requirement. 

      Some jurisdictions recognise de facto relationships even if the couple doesn’t cohabit full-time. The key is that the relationship must be marriage-like in other respects, such as financial interdependence or public social recognition.

      The length of time required to be considered de facto varies by jurisdiction. A minimum duration, like two years, is specified in some places. However, other factors like financial interdependence and social recognition can also play a role, even if the duration is less than the specified time.

      The end of a de facto relationship can have legal implications similar to a divorce, including the division of assets and child custody. 

      Each partner can claim property and may be entitled to spousal maintenance. Legal advice is strongly recommended to navigate these complexities.

      In the event of a separation, assets are generally divided based on each party’s contributions and future needs. This includes financial contributions and non-financial ones, like homemaking and parenting. The division can be agreed upon mutually or decided by a court.

      In Melbourne, you have two years from the date of separation to make a property or financial claim. It’s crucial to consult a legal expert to understand the specific time frames applicable to your situation.

      Related Articles & Cases