The Future of Economic Disparity Redress in New Zealand
(2018) 28 New Zealand Universities Law Journal 293
24 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2019 Last revised: 8 Jun 2020
Date Written: August 20, 2018
Economic disparity redress aims to compensate a spouse or partner for disparity that occurs at the end of a relationship because of the division of functions within the relationship. While the aim of economic disparity is commendable, in practice, the application and quantification of an economic disparity award has been problematic to the judiciary, practitioners and litigants. The New Zealand Supreme Court issued its first substantive judgment on economic disparity in Scott v Williams. Unfortunately, despite the opportunity to clarify this area of law, the decision confuses matters and contains certain findings that are in direct conflict with the statutory wording of the economic disparity provision in the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. The New Zealand Law Commission is currently reviewing economic disparity reform options. In light of Scott v Williams, and the issues it presents for all stakeholders, it is evident that reform is not only required, but the need for it has expedited.
Keywords: Family Property, Family, Property, Economic Disparity, Relationship Property, New Zealand
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