Sunday 22 May 2022 04:46 AM High Court decision will forever change the nature of your relationship, even ... trends now

Sunday 22 May 2022 04:46 AM High Court decision will forever change the nature of your relationship, even ... trends now
Sunday 22 May 2022 04:46 AM High Court decision will forever change the nature of your relationship, even ... trends now

Sunday 22 May 2022 04:46 AM High Court decision will forever change the nature of your relationship, even ... trends now

A couple can still be in a de facto relationship, even if they don't live together, according to a precedent-setting court ruling.

The landmark ruling, from the High Court of Australia, also means judges can deem a couple has involuntarily broken up if one person is self-serving enough to 'not make necessary allowances' for their partner.

The significant case, named Fairbairn v Radecki, looked at what exactly constituted the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

It also has implications for married couples that might be keeping a mistress on the side after the High Court ruled a couple does not need to be living together for the law to see them as de facto. 

Chris White, solicitor director at Powe & White Family Lawyers, represented Ms Fairbairn in the case.

'The case raises the need for de facto couples to consider how they might plan for older age and part of that requires consideration around financial agreements or prenups,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

The High Court found Mr Radecki had not made 'reasonable and necessary allowances' for his partner, after she was diagnosed with dementia. 

He also drove his partner to the court house to get her power of attorney changed, from her children to him, when her cognitive decline started.

Mr Radecki made a number of moves to 'advantage him and not Ms Fairbairn, and he didn't make the necessary allowances she needed,' Mr White added. 

The seven justices of the court were asked to consider if the couple, with the pseudonyms Ms Fairbairn and Mr Radecki, had broken up and if they did, when exactly had it happened.

The conduct of the people in the relationship is what ultimately determines its breakdown

The conduct of the people in the relationship is what ultimately determines its breakdown

According to the facts of the case, a pillar of the couple's relationship was to keep their assets 'strictly separate' when they started dating in 2005.

Mr Radecki did however live in the home, owned fully by Ms Fairbairn.

By 2017, Ms Fairbairn was suffering from severe dementia and her 'capacity to make long-term decisions was largely, if not completely, absent'.

In January 2018, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) became involved and began managing Ms Fairbairn's financial interests and a few months later, agreed it would be best to put her in an aged care home.

In order to obtain the hefty refundable aged care deposit (RAD), to secure Ms Fairbairn a place, the trustee appointed to her proposed selling the house. 

PREV Thursday 23 June 2022 02:17 AM Glastonbury revellers warned of monkeypox danger by health chiefs as event ... trends now
NEXT Wednesday 1 June 2022 12:07 AM Police should start kicking down doors to catch criminals, top cop tells ... trends now