The impact of section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 on the vexing problem of economic disparity.
Green, Claire Elizabeth Huscroft
Exploring economic disparity on divorce: A New Zealand perspective on a vexing problem. The thesis illustrates and attempts to understand the shadow cast by section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. There is no greater inequality than to treat those who are unequal equally. Practical equality between couples is not always achieved with a straight sharing of relationship property. Economic disparity is far too vexed a problem for this approach alone to be an effective solution. Section 15 was introduced in New Zealand in 2001 to remedy future economic disparity on the breakdown of a marital type relationship. It is now over eleven years since section 15 was introduced into New Zealand law. During this period it appears that more problems have been created than solved by the introduction of section 15 for lawyers, the judiciary, academics and the New Zealand public. This thesis is an exploration of these problems involving an empirical study completed with the aim of addressing the void in our knowledge regarding the day-to-day impact of section 15. Consideration is given to what takes place outside of the courtroom when relationship property matters are resolved. The study explores the perceptions and experiences of those interpreting and applying section 15. The thesis: • considers the impact of section 15 on the vexed problem of economic disparity; • attempts to understand how section 15 impacts on the practical day-to-day application of the law; • considers whether section 15 has resulted in fairer economic outcomes between people on the breakdown of their relationships.
Advisor: Henaghan, Mark; Briggs, Margaret
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Faculty of Law
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Section 15 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976; Economic Disparity; Relationship Property; New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis