By Sharla Stevens
In a recent case two parties had been together eight years, with six of those years where the parties were casually dating and only two of those years where the parties lived together. The Judge held that the six years of dating did not qualify as a de facto relationship, although the two years where they were living together, did qualify. This meant, though, that the relationship was considered a very short-term relationship of only two years, rather than of eight years. As it was held to be a short relationship, combined with the fact that the parties had mostly kept their finances separate, the Judge adopted an asset by asset approach.
The Judge held that no adjustments should be made to the Wife’s individual property interests (valued at around $2.7 million) based on contributions by the Husband during the two year relationship.
The joint assets comprised simply of the sale proceeds from a joint property in the amount of $9,000. The Judge held that the Wife had made significant financial contributions and that the joint assets could not have been purchased without her financial contributions and so the only just and equitable outcome was for the entire sum of net sale proceeds to go to the Wife.
So, overall the Wife was able to keep all of her assets in her sole name as well as the sale proceeds from the joint property (the only joint assets).
If you need assistance with a property settlement matter please contact Cristina Huesch, or one of our solicitors Sharla Stevens or Angela Li, at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.