Kirsty Cahill’s TLATA case hit the headlines last week as being the case of the mean property developer who humiliated her, the mother of his three children and partner of 20 years by refusing to accept that she was the true owner of the investment property purchased in her sole name.

The newspapers portrayed this as David –v- Goliath and the poor unmarried ‘wifely’ cohabitant against the older, arrogant, financially astute man of property. That wasn’t the whole story of course – there were some legal concepts involved which will be covered in the next NCC newsletter.

The case however highlighted two important aspects, one the Deficit of Knowledge being the lack of awareness and knowledge of those purchasing property or moving in with partners and who assume that the ‘common law wife’ not only exists but has rights. She is a myth without recourse to justice. The other aspect is the Importance of Evidence. Steven Farrer lost because the documentary evidence damned him. Two particular pieces of evidence being his emails to the managing agents who collected the rent and a ‘to whom it may concern’ reference for the painter and decorator that told the world that Kirsty was the sole owner of the property, the corollary of which was that his payment of the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage was indeed a gift to Kirsty!

This case will feature in our next newsletter.