HAV­ING AN AF­FAIR? WHAT COULD POS­SI­BLY GO WRONG?

Style Magazine - - Promotion - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH ADAMS, KENNEDY SPAN­NER LAWYERS

For some, be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship and hav­ing an af­fair on the side is not some­thing new.

How­ever, a nasty sur­prise may await should both re­la­tion­ships break down: both ex-part­ners may be en­ti­tled to a divi­sion of prop­erty from the per­son that the af­fair was with.

There was a man who was mar­ried with three chil­dren, and had a se­cret girl­friend for some 17 years.

The pair trav­elled over­seas to­gether, and spent two to three days to­gether ev­ery few weeks at the hus­band’s farm be­fore he would re­turn home to his wife and chil­dren in a dif­fer­ent state.

The hus­band helped the girl­friend buy her first home and pro­vided her with fi­nan­cial sup­port, how­ever they rarely so­cialised as a cou­ple.

There­fore, the Court found the par­ties main­tained sep­a­rate lives but came to­gether on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to en­joy a re­la­tion­ship, and de­ter­mined they were not in a de-facto re­la­tion­ship — so there was no prop­erty set­tle­ment be­tween the hus­band and girl­friend.

If cir­cum­stances were a lit­tle dif­fer­ent in the above case, how­ever, the girl­friend may have had en­ti­tle­ment to a fairly large por­tion of the hus­band’s prop­erty — as in the be­low case.

In a re­cent 2017 de­ci­sion which in­volved a man who was liv­ing with his wife, for 18 months the hus­band met his se­cret girl­friend at a mas­sage par­lour where she worked

He oc­ca­sion­ally stayed overnight at her house and paid amounts to­wards her mort­gage, even­tu­ally dis­cussing hav­ing a baby.

When they did have a child to­gether, the hus­band and wife sep­a­rated while the se­cret girl­friend was preg­nant.

The hus­band and se­cret girl­friend then sep­a­rated around a year later, and the hus­band here was sub­ject to two prop­erty set­tle­ments — one with his wife and one later with the se­cret girl­friend.

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