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Should more cases be heard in the High Court?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 says that the Family Court should deal with disputes about how partners divide their property at the end of a relationship.

The Family Court is a specialist court that deals with family issues, like the care of children, domestic violence and divorces.

Sometimes a property dispute can involve an issue beyond the Family Court’s jurisdiction, like claims relating to a trust or when a partner has a claim against a third party.

In these cases, the Family Court might not be able to resolve all the issues.

Some people say that the High Court, which has a wider jurisdiction and is used to dealing with complex legal issues, might be a better court to deal with complex property disputes. Alternatively, the Family Court could have more powers to deal with all aspects of a property case.

In the Issues Paper (Part H), we look at the limits of the Family Court’s jurisdiction and the advantages and disadvantages of moving more cases to the High Court.

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