Were they in a de facto relationship? Should the financial agreement stand? Which case won?
Couple commence relationship
The parties met in late 2011 at a massage parlour, where the woman worked. The man was married at the time.
In February 2012, the parties had dinner together and commenced a sexual relationship. In March 2012, the parties discussed having a child together and the woman stopped working at the massage parlour, at the man’s request. The man also began to spend overnight time at the woman’s house, although the parties disagreed as to how often this occurred.
In April 2012 the man began transferring $2,000 per month to the woman, along with two additional transfers of $10,000 in June 2012 and July 2012.
Parties enter into financial agreement and commence IVF
In August 2012, the parties signed a financial agreement as a de facto couple pursuant to the Family Law Act. The financial agreement contained provisions for the man to support the woman and their child financially if they ever separated.
The parties then began IVF treatment and the woman became pregnant in September 2012. The man separated from his wife in October 2012. The parties’ child was born in mid-2013.
The man continued to make payments for the woman, including a transfer to her of $8,000 and the payment of her car insurance in September 2013. However by December 2013 the relationship had deteriorated and the parties separated.
Woman seeks to rely on financial agreement after separation
Before the separation, the man indicated that he would not comply with his obligations under the financial agreement. A dispute arose, and the woman ultimately started court proceedings to enforce the terms of the financial agreement.
The primary question for the court to determine was whether a de facto relationship did in fact exist at the time the financial agreement was executed by the parties. If a de facto relationship did not exist at that time, then the parties’ relationship would not fall under the Family Law Act and the financial agreement would be invalid.