and same sex relationships
A couple who have lived together on a genuine domestic basis for a period of at least 2 years (or less if they have a child or if there are substantial financial contributions or the relationship is registered) are considered to be in a defacto relationship under the Family Law Act 1975.
De facto couples who separate after 1 March 2009 are entitled to have their claim for property settlement or spousal maintenance determined by the Family Court just as married couples can. The Family Law Act makes provision for the adjustment of property and financial support to de facto couples in similar terms to married couples.
De facto couples have two years from the date of separation in which to commence proceedings for property settlement and spousal maintenance.