Monday, September 19, 2011

Interdependency relationships – further examples

Following on from last week’s post, some comments were received in relation to the lack of cases in this relatively new area of law.

Interestingly, the superannuation legislation (for those particularly interested, the actual regulation is 1.04AAAA) sets out a number of tests in relation to whether a relationship between two people amounts to an interdependency relationship.

In summary, the tests include:

(a) the duration of the relationship;

(b) whether or not a sexual relationship exists;

(c) the ownership, use and acquisition of property;

(d) the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

(e) the care and support of children;

(f) the reputation and public aspects of the relationship;

(g) the degree of emotional support;

(h) the extent to which the relationship is one of mere convenience; and

(i) any evidence suggesting that the parties intend the relationship to be permanent.

A link the above definition is as follows:

Many of these themes are similar to the definition of what a de facto relationship is, which were summarised in a post a few weeks ago.

Due to the September holidays, the next post will be in a couple of weeks time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What is an ‘interdependency relationship’?

Following on from last week’s post, one issue that was raised with me related to the concept of an 'interdependency relationship' under the superannuation rules.

Again, for those who have not had cause to look at it recently, this definition is worth reviewing closely and an extract of it is included below.

Two persons (whether or not related by family) have an interdependency relationship under this section if:

(a) they have a close personal relationship; and
(b) they live together; and
(c) one or each of them provides the other with financial support; and
(d) one or each of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

In addition, two persons (whether or not related by family) also have an interdependency relationship under this section if:

1. they have a close personal relationship; and
2. they do not satisfy one or more of the requirements of an interdependency relationship mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d); and
3. the reason they do not satisfy those requirements is that either or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability.

A link the above definition is as follows:

Until next week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Being a 'kept’ woman (or man) may not be a de facto relationship

Following last week's post, I was reminded of a case from earlier in 2011 that involved a lady who had been a part of a secret intimate relationship with a married family man for 17 years.

According to her evidence, she and the man involved 'spent time together at various times in various places, had a sexual relationship, and expressed love and affection for each other'. The argument being that this was a 'de facto relationship' within the meaning of section 4AA of the Family Law Act (which was summarised in an earlier post).

The man denied 'any such relationship’, and instead claimed it was simply 'an affair' and the lady was a 'kept woman’. Both parties agreed that they travelled overseas together and the man paid the lady $24,000 to help her buy a home and $2,000 monthly, increasing progressively to $3,000 a month.

While the court rejected the man’s argument that 'exclusivity' was necessary for a de facto relationship to exist, the facts here did not support the lady’s argument that they were de factos.

The quote that best captured the decision here was as follows:

“the key to that definition (i.e. de facto) is the manifestation of a relationship where both the parties have so merged their lives that they were, for all practical purposes 'living together' as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. It is the manifestation of 'coupledom' which involves the merger of two lives as just described, that is the core of a de facto relationship as defined and to which each of the statutory factors (and others that want to apply to a particular relationship) are directed”.

Until next week.