All is fair in love and law

Monday 27 September 2004

What's your's is mine. As romance blossoms, few couples want to discuss the nitty gritty of money. But sticking your head in the sand about the Property (Relationships) Act could seriously dent your wealth. If you want to protect yourself, visit a lawyer before you "Pass Go" on your way to Freedom Furniture's bedroom department. If the gloves come off as love goes out the window, you could find yourself losing more than you imagined possible.

By The Landlord

Q: What's the act about?

A: The PRA is designed to ensure that property is split fairly at the end of a relationship that has lasted three years or more - whether the partners are married, de facto, heterosexual or homosexual. As one financial adviser pointed out, it also applies to mistresses, rest home relationships and even flatmates if a sexual relationship develops.

In some cases, such as where the couple have children, it can also apply to short-term relationships.

The act also covers what happens to property on the death of one partner. So even those in the most stable of partnerships needs to be aware of the act to ward off any shocks.

Q: What does it cover?

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