The Mistress Laws, A Costly Affair

Consider this. Michael marries Susan and later becomes involved in an extra-marital affair lasting several years. Michael believes the affair is over….but maybe its not.

New Family Law Act Reforms (dubbed “The Mistress Laws”) are extending separated de factos similar rights and privileges as married partners – including ongoing income maintenance, rights to property, a share of assets and even superannuation funds – particularly if there is a child involved.

Do the reforms erode the sanctity of marriage? Some opponents feel that marriage should prevail over de facto relationships and protect innocent parties who are now vulnerable to the financial implications (spouses and kids) of extra-marital affairs. Other objections concern how young people will now perceive and enter ‘casual’ relationships – when serious commitment wasn’t even on the radar.

The act requires de facto relationships satisfy certain criteria which can include co-habitation, sharing of resources and the relationship lasting at least two years..but they certainly afford some situations the same ‘legal’ status as a marriage, even if one of the parties is already married.

Existing estate arrangements may now have to accommodate children from extra marital affairs and the reforms mean that some pre-nuptial arrangements are legally null and void.

Find a local lawyer who can help you with your Family Law issues

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