Herald Sun (Australia) September 03, 2008
LOVE triangles could get legal recognition as part of a push to give de facto partners access to the Family Court. The aim of the Rudd Government’s Bill is to give de facto couples — heterosexual and same-sex — greater rights in property disputes. But critics fear it could leave innocent spouses facing financial ruin if a partner’s lover makes a property claim.
The Bill asserts that a de facto relationship can exist even if one of the persons is legally married to someone else or in another de facto relationship. The Federal Opposition said the Bill would give a green light to polygamy. “There’ll be no Big Love under our watch,” Liberal senator Mitch Fifield said, referring to the US TV series on SBS about a man and his three wives. Another critic, Victorian Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, said the Bill had serious flaws. “Not only is the Labor Party legalising polygamy, but it’s changing the law so that the third person in an extramarital relationship can effectively claim the assets of a marriage or of the long-term de facto relationship,” she said.