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Law Society Northern Territory
Issue no. 1
Law Society Northern Territory
N O T I C E B O A R D L A W S O C I E T Y N T Robert GladeWrights family law case notes Robert Glade-Wright, author and editor of the family law book familylawbook.com.au P R O P E R T Y Fly in fly out worker was in a de facto relationship In Cuan & Kostelac  FamCAFC 188 (12 September 2017) the Full Court (Strickland, Aldridge & Loughnan JJ) dismissed with costs Ms Cuans appeal against Judge Baumanns declaration that she and Mr Kostelac had lived together in a de facto relationship. She argued that the parties were never de facto partners, that while she lived at the respondents home in Town L she was a fly in fly out worker who travelled to live with her children in City N for two weeks after each six-week block of work in Town L. She said that in Town L she lived in the respondents flat rent-free in exchange for her looking after him, doing his housekeeping and helping him manage his money (). She said that they travelled overseas together between 2010 and 2014 as friends. Judge Baumann found that the parties lived together in a de facto relationship between April 2007 and late 2010, also granting the respondent leave to issue his property proceedings pursuant to s 44(6). The Full Court said (at ) that Judge Baumann in the context of the matters set out in s 4AA(2) of the Family Law Act had found: A common (though not exclusive) residence in Town L A sexual relationship (in Town L only) Significant intermingling of funds (Ms C had authority to operate Mr Ks bank accounts. $93 000 had passed from his accounts to hers and been used to reduce mortgages over two properties of hers in City N) Overseas travel but not as a mutual commitment to a shared life (separate rooms or beds) Others in Town L saw them as a couple (although little evidence) Evidence of Ms Cs children that the relationship was not intimate The Full Court said (at ) that if the finding of a de facto relationship is open on the evidence then no error will be identified, even if other judges may have come to a different conclusion. http://familylawbook.com.au
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