Although a major role of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 is to divide relationship property equally between the partners, it has many other functions. If children’s interests should not affect equal sharing between the partners, how important should children’s interests be in other instances under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976?
For example, how important should children’s interests be in these scenarios:
A court must decide whether to delay the division of the partners’ property to avoid undue hardship for the primary carer. Immediate division would require selling the family home straight away. It would be good for the children to stay in the family home until the end of the school year. How important is it to postpone selling the house?
A court must decide what items of property go to each partner so they both get a half share. It would be good for the children to stay in the family home so they need not change schools. How important is it for the primary carer to get the family home and the other partner to get other property instead?
A court must decide whether the partners’ property agreement should apply or be set aside. How important are the agreement’s consequences for the partners’ children?
A court must decide how to award compensation to a partner for contributing to the relationship after separation because the partner provided all the childcare. How should the court consider the interests of children when deciding on compensation?
What priority should the law should give to children’s interests in these scenarios?
What do you think?