Saturday, February 5, 2011

“De facto relationship” – Parties merely dating – Summary dismissal

In Ricci & Jones [2010] FMCAfam 1425 the mother applied successfully for the summary dismissal of the father’s property application. The parties never lived together but did have a child. They dated for several months until the father ended their relationship when the mother became pregnant. Riley FM examined whether it could be said that the child was a “child of [a] de facto relationship” within the meaning of s 90SB(b) of the Family Law Act; s 4AA of the Act which defines a “de facto relationship”; and the authorities, in particular Moby & Schulter [2010] FamCA 748 (Mushin J), concluding:

“Taking all of the matters into account that are stipulated by s 4AA of the Act, it seems to me that there is no prospect at all that the relationship between the applicant and the respondent could be regarded as a de facto relationship.”

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