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If you've never lived together

Talk about chores

Discuss how domestic duties will be divided or distributed. By sharing the household chores, you will be affording yourselves extra quality time together and/or time to work on your interests.

Respect the adjustment period

Be patient and kind to each other as you get familiar with each other’s personal habits and nuances.

Coordinate expenses

Coordinate whose primary responsibility it is to ensure that bills are paid. Bills, expenses and outgoings need to be discussed, agreed upon and paid.

Set house rules

Create some mutual house rules and respect them. Identify a group of house rules that you both agree to and adhere to for the comfort of the home’s occupants.

Respect the budget

Creating and adhering to a budget is essential for moving towards a common goal.

If you’re already living together

Many couples today choose to live together without formalising their commitment to each other. In this situation, deciding to take the 'next step' in commitment is a great opportunity to review how things have been going and make a course correction with anything that may need to be tweaked.

You might like to consider:

Declaring your debts

Now is the time to have the frank open conversations about what is going on financially. Commence your “debt declaration” and inform your partner about any debt that you may have.

Discussing everything

The good and the bad. Identify what you think has been going well in the relationship as well as areas that you could both work on for the long-term benefit of the relationship.

Reviewing your goals

Make sure that you are going in the same direction with finances, goals, family changes etc.

Are you in a de facto relationship?

Some people choose to cohabit and not legally marry, in which case they may be in a de facto relationship without necessarily realising. Below is a list of some of the key indicators that you may be in a de facto relationship:

  1. Combined finances, health insurance or payments.
  2. Registration of a de facto relationship in a state or territory that requires relationships to be registered.
  3. You are engaging in an intimate relationship.
  4. You are living together in a genuine relationship for 2 or more years.
  5. You have children or support children together.
  6. The joint ownership, use and acquisition of property.
  7. Attending functions together such as weddings, engagement parties, and other functions.