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Vol 24 No 5 May/June 2019

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Law and Policy in Modern Family Finance: Property Division in the 21st Century

Edited by: Jessica Palmer, Nicola S. Peart, Margaret Briggs, Mark Henaghan

ISBN13: 9781780684642
Published: February 2018
Publisher: Intersentia Publishers
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £79.00

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This insightful work by internationally recognised relationship property experts from New Zealand, Australia, England, and Germany addresses key questions about the legal division of property when a marriage, civil union, de facto relationship, or other close personal relationship ends.

Law and Policy in Modern Family Finance adopts a conceptual approach to relationship property division. In 18 chapters, it closely examines complex issues raised by the division of property in domestic relationships. Questions include:-

  • which relationships should be subject to a statutory regime;
  • which property should be shared;
  • whether property held on trust should be included;
  • how property should be shared;
  • how economic disparity caused by the division of functions within the relationship should be addressed, if at all;
  • whether, and if so to what extent, the interests of children of the relationship should be considered;
  • whether parties should be allowed to contract out of a statutory regime and, if so, whether such contracts should be binding;
  • and whether death should be treated in the same way as relationship break-down.

The authors use New Zealand’s current legislative framework as a basis for critical analysis and reflection. Despite New Zealand’s Property (Relationships) Act 1976 being hailed as socially progressive legislation when it was enacted, there is growing concern in New Zealand that its property sharing regime no longer meets society’s needs and expectations. The New Zealand Law Commission is currently reviewing the Act and related legislation with a view to reforming the law.

Issues of fairness, equality, and modern complexities in the division of relationship property are not unique to New Zealand. Other jurisdictions are facing similar problems, including Australia, England and some continental European countries.

The inclusion of experts from England, Australia and Germany ensures the utility of the book for international audiences, making it of interest to law reformers, academics, the judiciary, the legal profession, and law students everywhere in the world.

Family Law
Chapter 1. Introduction
Part I. Who Should be Covered by a Property Sharing Regime?
Chapter 2. Reconsidering Family Property Law in the Post-Marital Age
Chapter 3. Which Relationships Should be Included in the Property Sharing Scheme?
Chapter 4. Children's Interests in Division of Property on Relationship Breakdown
Chapter 5. Family Finances on Death of a Spouse or Partner
Chapter 6. A Lament for 'Testator's Family Maintenance' - A Good Idea Gone Wrong?
Part II. What Property Should be Covered by a Property Sharing Regime?
Chapter 7. Classifying Relationship Property - A Radical Re-Shaping?
Chapter 8. What to Do About Trusts?
Chapter 9. Should Indigenous Property be Relationship Property?
Chapter 10. Valuation of Relationship Property: An Evaluation of Practice and Procedure
Part III. How Should Property be Shared at the End of a Relationship?
Chapter 11. Should the Regime be Discretionary or Rules-Based?
Chapter 12. Sharing Family Finances at the End of a Relationship
Chapter 13. Shoudl a Property Sharing Regime be Mandatory or Optional?
Chapter 14. Contracting Out of the Default Relationship Property Regime - Comparative Observations
Chapter 15. Maintenance - Time for a Clean Break?