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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2865

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - One of the obvious things would be a natural act of kindness of a wife cooking a meal for her husband. We heard earlier the illustration of a wife cooking the Christmas dinner. Such an event might take place even though the parties have been living apart. The occasion may involve a visit to the children on Christmas day. Let us suppose that a wife looked after her husband. Let us suppose that while the husband was visiting his wife he got sick or he had an accident and his wife did something for him, which one might do out of humanity, I suppose, for anyone else and which could be regarded as a household service. Let us suppose that 2 people have decided to live separately and apart and one did something which could be construed as a houshold service. Let us suppose that they were living apart, sleeping in separate beds, living different lives, going out with different people and perhaps making arrangements which otherwise were quite incompatible with marriage. Let us suppose that the wife performed some kind of service such as that which I have mentioned. All we are saying is that the court could still find that they were living separately and apart, notwithstanding that. Of course, if there was a great number of these things the court might decide that they were not living seperately and apart. But it would be open to the court to find that they were living separately and apart, notwithstanding that they were under the same roof and that one party had rendered some household service to the other party.

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