Case: de facto relationship, but why would you bother?

Case: de facto relationship, but why would you bother?

In Delaney v Burgess the appellant de facto wife was able to show that the trial judge was incorrect in finding that her relationship with the de facto husband was only a business relationship of boarder and owner of the home, when amongst other things, they had had sex, he had described her affectionately in a card as his “wife”, in children’s proceedings had sworn that she was his de facto wife and listed her as his flying companion with Qantas.

However, after a relationship of 4 years, when the de facto husband had $450,000+ of property and superannuation, the de facto wife was ordered to be paid $15,000 plus costs of the appeal [all of which would be likely to be fraction of what she had paid in legal costs]. The de facto wife had made little financial contributions during the course of the relationship other than board in part because she had a gambling problem. Why would you bother going to court for such a small sum?

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