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NSW De Facto - Property Issues

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Renee5376, 23 August 2014.

  1. Renee5376

    Renee5376 Active Member

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    I was in a de facto relationship for 10 years.

    Shortly after we jointly purchased two properties my partner moved into one of the investment properties (even though he has his own property elsewhere). Initially he claimed that he was spending a lot of time there to 'tidy it up', but nothing at all has been done to the property.

    For 5 years now we have received no rental income from the property he is in and his own house remains empty. In addition, both the rental property and his own property have fallen into severe disrepair. I need to take control of the investment property before it is worth nothing. I have been in severe financial distress due to this situation. I have received an early release from my Super Fund and worked three jobs to try and keep up with the mortgages. I desperately need help that I cannot afford.

    By chance I just found out that he is going on a holiday to the USA next week. I have the keys to the house and it is half mine. My instinct says to move in while he's away and change the locks, rent out the family home which my son and I have been living in and when the ex gets back, tell him to go live in his own house.

    Any feedback is most welcome. Cheers
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Renee5376
    1. Has your former de facto continued to make contributions to the investment property mortgage, rates, etc.?
    2. What was the original agreement with your de facto in relation to the investment property (e.g. 50/50 on all expenses, etc.)?
     
  3. Renee5376

    Renee5376 Active Member

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    Hi John R, original agreement was 50/50 split of all repayments and expenses on investment properties, however my ex lost his job 2 days after settlement of the two properties and did not work for approximately two years. I made all the repayments during that time and sold my own house to save the two investment properties, and his house which is included in the security over the loans.
    He has made contributions to the mortgages but never in full, until the last couple of months. He had never contributed to rates, water, electricity or gas on the investment property until last couple of months after I refused to keep paying his share. He has never contributed to improvements.
     
  4. Renee5376

    Renee5376 Active Member

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    In addition, the repayments he has made in the last couple of months, and I dare say his sudden departure to America was funded by selling my personal possessions whilst I was working away. Antiques, whitegoods etc
     
  5. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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  6. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Have you confronted your ex de facto (if you are still communicating) or have any other evidence to support this belief?
     
  7. Renee5376

    Renee5376 Active Member

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    It is a very grey area as to when the relationship broke down as he was coming and going for the first couple of years with the mind set that what ever I own he has a right to. He would casually spend time at either house despite my protests. I'd get home in the morning after night shift and find that he had slept in my bed.
    I have photographs of my antiques, pool table, fridge, deep freeze etc.. and he openly admits to selling them. I have seen posts on Facebook of my possessions being sold on by other people.
     
  8. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Renee5376
    Would you and your ex de facto agree that the relationship break down happened after 1 March 2009?
     
  9. Renee5376

    Renee5376 Active Member

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    Yes John I think that would be the case.
     
  10. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Renee5376
    It sounds like it would be worthwhile to come to an agreement with your ex about the properties or resolve it through a property settlement asap. I can understand why you'd want to keep him out of your personal space, but if his name is on the title of a property, he does have rights to it.

    If you and your ex agree about property and money, then you can get a a lawyer to help you with drafting a binding financial agreement, or apply for consent orders in which you formalise the agreement by asking the court to make orders in the terms of your agreement. You can do the first draft of the agreement, but you'll both need to get independent legal advice for it to be binding.

    If you can't agree about property and money, you can apply to the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court to have your financial matters determined. You need to apply for de facto financial orders within two years of your relationship breakdown. After 2 years, you need the Court's permission to apply. Examples of financial matters include the adjustment of property interests or maintenance of a party to the de facto relationship.

    Also see:

    You could perhaps have a chat with your closest community legal centre or Womens' Legal Services Centre to bounce advice as you progress.
     
    John R likes this.

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