LAWGENRL 429 - Law of Family Property

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures - 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Nikki Chamberlain
Corequisite: LAW 306

Course description

The law of family property is an important and interesting area of law that is relevant to general practitioners as well as family law specialists. This course will provide preliminary study in relation to front-end issues (asset protection measures) and advanced study on back-end issues (asset disputes) in the family law context.

In particular, we will discuss law and policy issues that arise in the interpretation and application of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 such as pre-nuptial agreements, relationship property disputes, family trust disputes and estate disputes. We will examine the recent developments in ‘trust-busting’ as it pertains to family trusts.  

We will also cover the law and policy behind spousal maintenance and re-settlement of family trusts under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 and estate disputes under the Family Protection Act 1955 and the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949.

Content outline

The law of family property covers a number of specific areas, including:

Asset Protection: Pre-nuptial Agreements, Wills and Family Trusts

Asset Disputes:  

  • Defining Relationship Property and Separate Property  
  • Division of Relationship Property
  • Provision of Economic Disparity  
  • Provision of Spousal Maintenance   
  • Trust-Busting Mechanisms and Defenses
  • Succession under the Property (Relationships) Act
  • Estate disputes



Recommended text

Please ensure that you have a copy of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (updated with amendments).

A casebook will be provided containing cases and excerpts from additional statutes.