What happens when you kiss and make up?

, What happens when you kiss and make up?, Merridy Elphick Lawyers

What happens when you kiss and make up?

In the matter of Borg & Bosco [2019] FCCA 66 (18 January 2019), Ms Borg and Mr Bosco had been in a de facto relationship for approximately 6 years and then separated in 2005. After they separated on 2005 they entered an agreement to divide their then property.   The parties then went on with their lives and arranged their financial affairs independently of each other.

Ms Borg and Mr Bosco recommenced their relationship in 2011 and married in 2013.  By which time Mr Bosco bought back into the relationship considerably greater value in his assets.  Unfortunately for Ms Borg and Mr Bosco their marriage broke down and they separated for a final time in 2017.

Ms Borg & Mr Bosco were unable to reach an agreement about the division of their property after their final separation, in that, Ms Borg sought 65% of the property in her favour and Mr Bosco sought 70% of the property in his favour. In this particular case, Mr Bosco was not quite as successful as he had hoped but certainly Ms Borg was unsuccessful.

The issue for the Court in this matter was whether or not, when parties are married, the entire relationship (in this case from 1999 until 2017) is within the ambit of the Act or whether a weight should be given to discreet periods of the relationship and the weight to be accorded to any period of separation (in this case, 6 years). The Court found “there is a radical difference between a relationship where parties cohabit for two periods of twenty years with a gap on one month in between and a relationship where two parties cohabit for two period of one month with twenty years in between. What weight one would give to the periods of cohabitation necessarily therefore will depend upon these sorts of circumstances.  Because Mr Bosco had ‘improved’ his financial circumstances during the course of the parties initial separation and due to the length of the separation (six years) the court found in favour of Mr Bosco.

If you or someone you know has kissed and made up and now requires advice about their entitlements, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with one of our solicitors.