HAVING AN AFFAIR? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
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.