In a Throuple Relationship? Here's What The Law Says

Are you currently in a throuple relationship? – two or more partners at the same time? Polyamorous? Multiple sugar babies?

Don’t forget to protect your interests. It is important to keep in mind that when you have been in a relationship for more than two years, whether that’s with one person or multiple, that you may be considered to be in a “de facto relationship,” with one or more person.

Furthermore, if you are married and also have a relationship or relationships with other people outside of the marriage, you can also be in held to be in a de facto relationship with those other people at the same time.

If you are wondering what a “throuple” is, it’s a relationship consisting of three people. However, this can be further categorised as a “Vee”, which means one person who has two separate spouses that don’t have a relationship between each other, and a “Triad,” where all three people share a relationship with each other.

Polyamorous means that you are in intimate relationships with more than one partner. A sugar baby is a person that dates another for money or other benefit, which in return, can provide the benefit of a sexual or domestic relationship.

Of course, relationships are not confined to specific numbers of people, and they can be complex. Same-sex couples, whether as the primary relationship or secondary, are also subject to the de facto regime.

Why Should I Care if My Relationships Are Labelled as De Facto?

Right? Well, read on...

The implications of being deemed in a de facto relationship are two-fold:

1. In the event the relationship or relationships break down, the de facto spouse(s) are entitled to commence proceedings for a property settlement and potentially spousal maintenance, depending on the circumstances.

2. If you do not have a will and die intestate, then your de facto spouse(s) are presumed entitled to your estate, which can create complications – especially if you have multiple partners and/or are married at the same time. We do not advise in this area and recommend you seek advice from a Wills & Estates Lawyer.

Additionally, your interests may not be the only ones requiring protection. For example, if you’re in a marriage or de facto relationship and your spouse or partner is in a second, separate, de facto relationship with another person then that 3rd person may acquire rights against your spouse or partners assets. That claim may well compete with your own or effect your financial position by reducing your spouse or partners assets.

What Constitutes a De Facto Relationship?

The following circumstances are taken into account by the Court when determining whether there is a de facto relationship:

1. the duration of the relationship (must be at least 2 years in most cases but can also be shorter in some circumstances);

2. the nature and extent of their common residence;

3. whether a sexual relationship exists;

4. the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;

5. the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;

6. the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

7. whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;

8. the care and support of children; and

9. the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

For further information, please see our article in relation to de facto relationships HERE.

How to Protect Your Interests Ahead of Time – Financial Agreements

Whether you're in a throuple relationship, a polyamorous, or a de facto relationship of any kind, and you would like to protect your interests by ensuring that your assets, companies and trusts are not disrupted in the event there is a breakdown of your marriage and/or your de facto relationship(s), we strongly advise that you enter into a Financial Agreement with your spouse(s).

A Financial Agreement is a written document that sets out how the property pool (which includes all of the assets, interests, companies, shares, trusts of the parties’ to the relationship) and liabilities, are to be divided in the event of separation.

Furthermore, a Financial Agreement can provide for a situation where there are periods of separation in which you reconcile.

However, it is not as simple as us drafting up an agreement and each party signing; there are legal requirements in order to ensure the agreement is binding.

At Pullos Lawyers, our specialist family lawyers are experts in complex Financial Agreements and can assist you with every aspect of them from negotiating their terms to drafting them and providing you with the advice needed before they are signed and can be binding.

At the end of the day, a good Financial Agreement will save you a lot of stress, time and money.

Has the Polyamorous or Throuple Relationship Already Started to Break Down?

If your relationships are on the break of breaking down, we recommend that you urgently seek advice in order to endeavour to best resolve any potential property settlement or spousal maintenance issues without the need of going to Court. If an agreement is reached, we can formalise that agreement by way of a Financial Agreement, or mutually agreed to orders, called “consent orders.

In a Polyamorous or Throuple Relationship, and Need Advice?

If you are in a marriage or de facto relationship, or are potentially in more than one defacto relationship and you don’t have a Financial Agreement in place, contact us to make an appointment for an initial telephone call to determine what your needs might be. The telephone call will be free of charge and it may save you significantly into the future. Alternately call us to speak to one of our Brisbane specialist family lawyers (07) 3144 1641 or one of our Gold Coast specialist family lawyers (07) 5526 3646.