Section 15 Property (Relationships) Act 1976: Compensation, Substantive Equality and Empirical Realities: English

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Abstract

In 2001, the Property (Relationships) Amendment Act introduced s 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 into New Zealand's property regime. The purpose of this section was to rebalance any significant economic disparities that existed between the parties' incomes and living standards as a result of the division of functions in the relationship, and that equal sharing of relationship property would not rectify. Section 15, therefore, was designed to reduce the hardship that equal sharing could produce by recognising the full effects that the partnership had had on parties' respective earning capacities and, accordingly, place them in a more substantively equal position at the end of their relationship. Yet how far has s 15 achieved its original purpose? To answer this question, this article examines the scope and operation of this section by reviewing 60 cases that have substantively applied s 15 and also sets out findings from a small-scale qualitative project which involved interviews with legal practitioners working in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355 -381
Number of pages27
JournalNew Zealand Law Review
Volume2014
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014

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