Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Contributions from Parents, Loan, Proceedings to Alter Property Interests, Property Settlement
Judges:  Burchardt FM

Background: The husband’s father had given the parties $240,000 towards the cost of buying acreage and building a house on the land. After the parties’ separation the father intervened in the proceedings and sought repayment of what he argued had been a loan. The husband agreed but the wife denied any loan, alleging that the payment had been a gift. 
  [Legal Issue]In one sense, the informal nature of these arrangements denies legal analysis. However, I do not think the contribution by the father was a gift. If someone gives you over a quarter of a million dollars, you tell the world about it. It is clear the wife never told her own parents or anyone else. Likewise, she never wrote a note of thanks, which an outright and clearly expressed gift would have been highly likely to have engendered. To the contrary effect, however, I do not think that the arrangements can properly be described as a loan in the ordinary sense. Loans, if nothing else, have terms as to repayment. ‘Loan’ is defined by the Butterworth’s Australian Legal Dictionary as: ‘The temporary transfer of an asset, usually funds, from a lender who controls the funds to a borr   [Court Orders]Money from husband’s father held to be neither gift nor compellably repayable loan but a contribution on husband’s behalf. As such the Federal Magistrate concluded that the $240,000 is not repayable.     

 ] Download Decision