The Law Commission has received over 300 submissions on its review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. The submissions and feedback from the public meetings held around the country have given the Commission plenty to consider.
Law Commissioner Helen McQueen says consultation has helped the Commission to broaden its ideas and develop new possibilities for reform.
"There are a number of issues where, following public consultation, we have developed our thinking beyond the reform options signalled in our Issues Paper," says Helen McQueen.
Helen McQueen says that one key example relates to how to treat the family home when one partner has brought it into the relationship. A number of submissions have suggested that automatic equal sharing of the family home in these circumstances may be unfair.
"To make sure that everyone is aware of our likely recommendations and has a chance to have their say, we are going to release a Preferred Approach Paper in October 2018. This will be a short paper which outlines the recommendations we propose to include in our Final Report. We will welcome comments on the Preferred Approach Paper but consultation will only be open for a limited time. "
Once the Commission has published its Preferred Approach Paper and received comments on it, it will write its Final Report. This will include all its recommendations to reform the Property (Relationships) Act. The Commission is now aiming to publish its Final Report in April 2019.