The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Laws to Cohabitants

A Chigavazira, H Fisher, Tim Robinson, A Zhu

Lifecourse Centre | Published : 2019


Since the 1970s, marriage rates have declined throughout the developed world and unmarried cohabitation has become increasingly important. Despite the growing importance, unmarried couples face a wide range of legal frameworks if their relationship breaks down. For example, in many US states and in England and Wales family law does not cover unmarried couples. In contrast, in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Canada, unmarried couples face the same property division regime as married couples. We examine the effects of the extension of the Australian Family Law Act to unmarried couples, focusing on how being subject to equitable property division laws affects the behaviour of intact coupl..

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