The property and maintenance rights of de facto couples, whether they are of the same or different sex, are now essentially the same as for married couples. This is the case once the de facto relationship qualifies as a couple under Family Law Act. However there still are some differences.
To come under the Family Law Act a de facto relationship must qualify. Generally cohabitation must have been for 2 years or a child be born of the relationship or that one party has made major financial contributions for the benefit of the other.
Once a de facto couple separate, they then have two years to commence a claim for property settlement or maintenance and if not, they may lose the right to do so. (It is one year after divorce for married couples). Otherwise the rights of de facto partners come under different sections of the Family Law Act but are essentially the same as for married couples.
See our Articles about De Facto and Same Sex Relationships here.