sign up Your signup was successful Subscribing..


< back

Changes ahead for relationship property

By Surendra Bennett - 12 Nov 2018

The Law Commission has just published its report about suggested changes to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.

Currently, where a marriage or de facto relationship ends after three years, then the value of the family home is shared equally, irrespective of when the home was purchased or the parties' contributions to the home.

Where, after separation, the living standard and income of a partner/spouse will be significantly less than the other party as a consequence of the division of functions in the relationship, then application can be made to the court for relief. Such 'economic disparity' claims typically occur where one party gives up their career to raise the children.

Some of the highlights from the Law Commission's report are:

  • A proposal to change the status quo so that when the family home is owned by one party before the marriage or de facto relationship, then only the increase in value from marriage/relationship commencement will be shared.
  • Another proposal is to merge such claims with claims for spousal maintenance. This would mean that partners/spouses will be required to share their combined income for a limited period after they separate.  This new regime will be referred as a Family Income Sharing Arrangement (FISA).  It is proposed that FISA will only apply to people who:
    • Have children; or
    • Been together for 10 years or more; or
    • Have built or sacrificed careers because of the relationship.

There are many other proposed changes to the current law.  If you would like to know more about the proposals or about the current state of the law as to relationship property, then contact me, Surendra Bennett, or any other member of our specialist Family law team.


Forward to a friend

Leave a comment