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Is possession nine tenths of the law?

Yesterday someone called us with a simple question: Is possession nine tenths of the law?  We all know from general life experience that being in possession of something that someone else wants is a position of power.  But does it strengthen your legal position as well?

As with so many legal questions the answer begins: “Well, it depends …..”  Yesterday’s question was in the context of a relationship breakdown and really the question was “Does the person who stays in the house get to keep it?”.  In relationship breakdowns, the answer is pretty clear.  Possession is not nine tenths of the law!

Whether its a marriage or a de facto relationship, the legal principles about how property gets divided are the same.  The guiding principles are “justice and equity” or in, simple terms, fairness, not possession.

There are a lot of myths and half truths out there about legal rights.  Before you make a decision that could impact on your legal rights, it’s always a good idea to get some professional advice.  Our Legal Diagnosis service is a low cost and convenient option if you need to know where you stand.