Goodman & Hallett [2014] FamCAFC 142

In Goodman & Hallett [2014] FamCAFC 142 the parties disputed they date upon which they ceased to live together on a genuine domestic basis by some 10 years.

The parties had a relationship from 1991 to 2000 and resided with one another in a house owned by a Mr Cadman. However, according to Mr Cadman, this relationship ceased in 2000. Mr Hallett, Mr Cadman’s gay partner, stated that this was not the end of the relationship and that the relationship did not effectively cease until 2010. According to Mr Hallett, the end of the relationship came in 2010 when Mr Cadman changed his will to significantly diminish the amount Mr Hallett was entitled to under Mr Cadman’s will.

Mr Hallett, in support of his argument, noted that even whilst he resided in the United States, and was not even living with Mr Cadman or involved in a sexual relationship with him, Mr Cadman continued to provide Mr Hallett with financial support and never communicated an intention that the relationship was over. At first instance the trial judge sound that the intention to separate was made in 2010 when Mr Cadman changed his will to significantly diminish the entitlement of Mr Hallett under his will.

Mr Cadman appealed. The Full Court upheld the trial judge’s decision that Mr Cadman first communicated his intention to end the relationship in 2010 when he changed his will to significantly diminish the entitlement of Mr Hallett under his will. On such basisand given Mr Cadman’s support of Mr Hallett whilst he was in the United States the Full Court held that the parties were living together on a domestic basis notwithstanding that the relationship involved periods during which there was no sexual relationship between the parties.