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Where parties conduct their joint household in the same manner as if they were married, such a relationship, even in the absence of sexual relations, may gave rise to a family relation.
From 1996 to 2007, the parties were involved in a relationship and lived together with their children. They briefly separated in 2005. Mr. Hofstad purchased a new home, paid the down payment, the closing costs, entered into the loan obligation, and made the mortgage payments. When they reconciled, Mr. Hofstad agreed to put Ms. Christie’s name on the deed. In 2007, Ms. Christie filed suit seeking partition of the home.
Was the district court's finding of a family relationship for purposes of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 34-13-114 (a)(x) proper?
The Supreme Court of Wyoming found that the evidence was sufficient to support the district court's finding of a family relationship for purposes of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 34-13-114 (a)(x) (LexisNexis 2009). Although the term "family relationship" is by no means absolute, the Court agreed with the district court and Ms. Christie that in this case, the parties do share a family relationship, largely by way of their sharing two children. Mr. Hofstad’s unequal contributions to the home were presumed to be a gift; given the parties' reconciliation, evidence of donative intent existed. The Supreme Court of Wyoming upheld the district court's judgment equally partitioning the home the parties owned as tenants in common.