Charlie - posted on 11/09/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )
Cheating husbands will be open to divorce-style litigation from their mistresses under new laws.
News Ltd says mistresses can now claim income maintenance, property and even superannuation funds under the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures), dubbed the "mistress laws", which were passed by the Senate last November and came into effect on Sunday.
The main objective is to remove same-sex discrimination from the Family Court system, but they have left the door open for a raft of de facto relationship claims.
The laws declare that de facto couples who satisfy basic criteria - such as being in the relationship for at least two years - will be treated in the Family Court in the same way as a married couple. It also applies to same-sex couples.
The laws will change the way property is divided by enabling the court to consider the "future needs" of partners, as it does for married couples.
Men or women who have a second relationship outside a marriage are now liable to legal action in the Family Court should the second partner decide he or she deserves income support or a share of assets. This is particularly the case if a child is involved.
As a result A CHEATING husband has paid his ex-lover more than $100,000 under Australia's new "mistress laws".
In the first known case of its kind in Australia, the Melbourne businessman was sued under changes to the Family Law Act which give rights to people in de facto relationships and same-sex marriages.
Legal experts say the case, prompted by the end of an affair of more than 20 years, will strike fear into the hearts of philanderers nationwide.
The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, said not only did she deserve the money, but others should follow her lead.
A mistress wanting maintenance or a payout had to prove they had a long-term relationship, a sexual relationship, financial dependency, a commitment and a public recognition of the relationship.