QLD Rules of thumb to minimise risk of De Facto

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

mojorising

Member
18 January 2020
3
0
1
I am looking for general rules of thumb to follow when allowing a partner/girlfriend (with whom one is having a sexual relationship) to stay over in one's house so that the risk of being judged to be in a De Facto relationship is minimised in the event of any future relationship breakdown.

I realise that it is not possible to devise a water-tight strategy so I am just looking for general rules of thumb to minimise risk.

Example rules I can think of might be:-

1. Avoid more than X nights a week of her staying overnight in your home (X=3 ?)
2. If the relationship is not going to last then make sure it ends before Y months (Y=24 ?)
3. Do not give her a key to the house
4. Do not allow her to use your address for receiving mail
5. Do not allow her clothes to be stored in your wardrobes
6. Make sure all food consumed in the house is purchased by you and she does not bring groceries to the house.
7. When travelling away somewhere without her, advise her to get any of her belongings from your house that she needs before you leave, as she will not have access.
8. Do not mix finances
9. Do not have children
10. If she already has children do not allow them to sleep over in your house

If anyone has any suggestions to add or comments to make on these example rules that would be useful.

Sorry if the list sounds a bit calculating but, unfortunately, that is the nature of relationships when looking at them from a legal risk perspective.

Thanks
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,717
677
2,894
have a read
De facto Relationships - Family Court of Australia
Wow - slow down romeo, let romance blossom without all the fear of 'what if'.

Once you've been living together for 2 years - so her drivers licence states same address as your's, all her mail is coming to same address.
But even after 2 years that doesn't mean she gets half your stuff. The duration of the relationship happens. Ball park figure - after 7 years or if there is a child, then you're looking at getting close to a ball park of a 50/50 asset split, but even then there are variables.

One more important piece of advice - CONDOMS.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
1,795
255
2,394
I realise that it is not possible to devise a water-tight strategy so I am just looking for general rules of thumb to minimise risk
Have a read of of this >>> FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 4AA De facto relationships
Important to know that from a family law perspective, the 2 year time frame goes out the window if a child comes along.... So as already suggested, use condoms, but I would go further & suggest you take full responsibility for that from purchase to the time you personally see it flush away..
 

mojorising

Member
18 January 2020
3
0
1
Thanks for the condoms advice folks. I will put that under rule number 9!

But even after 2 years that doesn't mean she gets half your stuff.

Thanks Sammy. I am really looking at ways of minimising the risk of getting tangled up in the family Court to begin with.

On a related note, I am also wondering about what the situation is when letting a GF stay in one's home every night if she does not have her own place temporarily for some reason.

Like, if a GF moved into your home while she was temporarily homeless how long could you normally let her stay before you would start to stray into the De Facto danger zone?

This is assuming that all other rules are observed such as no pregnancy, not mixing finances, not letting her existing kids stay etc.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,717
677
2,894
Living together for 2 years. So a sleep over here or there. No worries. 2 years living together is the starting point.
WARNING WARNING WARNING - 'temporarily homeless' I'm old and have been badly burnt financially. Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who is 'temporarily homeless'?
 

mojorising

Member
18 January 2020
3
0
1
Living together for 2 years.

Thanks Sammy. I have never been able to find any reference to the 2 Years rule in any legislation or information published on a GOV website although I have heard this rule quoted many times.

But the Wikipedia page does make written reference to it.

Australian family law - Wikipedia

  • A de facto couple must cohabit for a minimum of two years for the Family Law Act to apply,

Is this 2 Year rule published anywhere on the government online information?

I am not very confident in relying on a Wikipedia page by itself.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,717
677
2,894
so it is a bit vague - the reality is family law is a bit like that but I reckon the two year rule applies.
so here is the legislation
Family Law Act 1975 Once you're there click on the link on the left 4AA De facto relationships
I think the main bit is "having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis."
especially 'genuine domestic basis'
so that is a bit vague. IF she stays for a month is that a genuine domestic basis?
NOPE
SO the courts have taken a rule of thumb - so after 2 years it can be seen as 'genuine'
De facto Relationships - Family Court of Australia

But even after 2 years it doesn't mean she gets al your stuff.