Many people are unsure whether or not their relationship counts as a de facto relationship for the purposes of the Property (Relationships) Act. The standard, but misleading, rule that non-lawyers refer to is the three year test. In reality, there are many more factors that will determine whether or not your relationship counts as de facto.
In deciding whether or not your relationship is de facto, the court will consider:
– the length of the relationship;
– the degree of financial interdependence;
– whether other people regarded you as a couple;
– whether there was a sexual relationship;
– performance of household duties;
– how your property was owned;
– the extent to which you lived together; and
– any other relevant factors.
If you don’t wish to be subject to the provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act – and you are getting into a new relationship – you need to see a lawyer and have a s21 agreement (pre-nuptial) drawn up as soon as possible. Do not rely on the three year test. You may be in a de facto relationship much sooner than you think.
Please contact me if you would like us to prepare a s21 agreement for you.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 03 218 3137