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1: Kristoff & Emerson [2015] FCCA 13 |
Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Briginshaw test, Contributions, De Facto Relationship, De Facto Relationships, Meaningful Relationship, Proceedings to Alter Property Interests, Property, Substantial Relationship
Judges:  Judge Brewster

Background: The case involved a sex worker who made a claim for a property order against a former client turned partner of 8 years. The applicant alleged that she lived in a de facto relationship with the respondent from 2003 until 2011. The parties met in 1999 when the applicant “was employed as a sex worker and the respondent was one of her clients”, their relationship evolving to a point where the “applicant began to involve the respondent with her family” and from “2000 onwards the sexual relationship between the parties ceased to be a commercial one” 
  [Legal Issue]The Court ultimately found that whilst the parties did have a relationship that exceeded “friendship”, it was not enough to constitute a de-facto relationship. There was no financial interdependence or children of the relationship and the applicant did not give up sex work for the respondent. In any event, the Court held that on the facts, it would not be just and equitable to make orders altering the party’s property interests. Parties to a supposed de-facto relationship must evidence more than a mere sexual relationship. The Court will consider the totality of the relationship including amongst others, living arrangements and financial interdependence to establish the existence of a de-facto relationship.   [Court Orders]The Court found that the couple were not in a de facto relationship and as such the claim for property fails.      

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