Dividing your property when you split up (“Relationship property”)
The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 deals with how the property of married couples, civil union partners and de facto couples is divided when a relationship ends. The Act covers a relationship ending because of a break-up, but it can also cover a relationship ending because of the death of a partner.
The purpose of the Act is to recognise the equal contributions of both partners to their relationship and to provide for a fair division of property when their relationship ends, taking into account the interests of any children. The general presumption of the Act is that a couple’s property will be divided equally. There are exceptions to this rule, however. In particular, there are different rules about how property is to be divided where a relationship has lasted less than three years.