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Case Summary Chancellor v McCoy

Case Summary Chancellor v McCoy

By Daniel Myers

Courts Divorce Family Court Judgment 

In Chancellor & McCoy [2016] FamCAFC 256 (2 December 2016) the Full Court (Bryant CJ, Thackray and Strickland JJ) dismissed an appeal by a de-facto partner against the trial judge’s decision that, applying the principles of Stanford v Stanford (2012), it was not just and equitable to make an order adjusting property interests of the parties who had lived in a same-sex de facto relationship for 27 years. The other material facts at first instance, that were largely uncontroversial, included: Although in a committed relationship, the parties kept their financial affairs almost entirely separate. By the time they separated, the respondent’s assets and superannuation were worth more than double those of the appellant. The parties were working in the education industry when they commenced their relationship in 1982. Their careers progressed along parallel lines including being members of a similar employer funded superannuation scheme although the respondent commenced making additional voluntary superannuation contributions in 1999 by way of salary sacrifice. In 1983, the respondent purchased a home in her sole name for approximately $51,000, providing the deposit of $27,000, with the balance financed by a mortgage she obtained and thereafter serviced. The parties commenced cohabitation in the respondent’s home in 1983. Between 1983 and 1984, the parties renovated the home, with the respondent providing the funds and the appellant assisting with the labour. In 1984, the respondent’s parents provided $35,000 to discharge the mortgage.

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