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Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets

An Inter-Disciplinary Study

Editor(s): Joanna K. Miles, Rebecca Probert
Media of Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets
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Published: 18-08-2009
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 340
ISBN: 9781847315274
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £62.99
Online price : £50.39
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About Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets

With many couples separating each year, the question of how to determine the financial and property consequences of such separation has always been a problem area within family law. Should the principles be the same for married and cohabiting couples? Should the division of assets reflect the parties' own expectations or norms imposed by society? These are just two of the questions which the essays in this collection seek to explore.

Recent cases in the House of Lords have seen willingness on the part of the judges to seek out empirical studies to inform their deliberations, but if the law is to engage with empirical data then much more information is needed, both about the arrangements people make during their relationships, and about the impact of the law when a relationship breaks down. This inter-disciplinary work brings together leading academics in the fields of law, economics, sociology and psychology in an attempt to provide some of the missing empirical information. Part I sets out the legal framework and identifies the importance of empirical studies for this area. Part II examines how couples (whether cohabitants or spouses) manage their money during their relationships. Part III then considers the impact that the law currently has on separating couples - examining how legal principles translate into reality and what their consequences are for the parties. Finally, Part IV considers the issue of legal rationality: it may be rational for the law to be shaped by patterns of behaviour, but how far will individual couples allow their behaviour to be shaped by the law?

Table Of Contents

Part I: General Issues
1. Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets: Legal Principles and Real Life JOANNA MILES AND REBECCA PROBERT
2. The Perils of Reforming Family Law and the Increasing Need for Empirical Research, 1980–2008 MAVIS MACLEAN AND JOHN EEKELAAR
Part II: Work, Money and Property within Intimate Relationships: Expectations and Actions
3. Paid and Unpaid Work: Can Policy Improve Gender Inequalities?JACQUELINE SCOTT AND SHIRLEY DEX
4. Managing Money in Intimate Relationships: Similarities and Differences between Cohabiting and Married Couples CAROLYN VOGLER
5. Financial Practices in Cohabiting Heterosexual Couples: A Perspective from Economic Psychology CAROLE BURGOYNE AND STEFANIE SONNENBERG
6. The Role of Personal Relationships in Borrowing, Saving and Over-indebtedness: A Life-course Perspective ANDREA FINNEY
Part III: Dividing the Assets on Relationship Breakdown
7. Money, Property, Cohabitation and Separation: Patterns and Intentions GILLIAN DOUGLAS, JULIA PEARCE AND HILARY WOODWARD
8. Financial Arrangements on the Breakdown of Cohabitation: Infl uences and Disadvantage JANE LEWIS, ROSALIND TENNANT AND JEAN TAYLOR
9. Chaos or Consistency? Ancillary Relief in the 'Everyday' Case EMMA HITCHINGS
10. Self-determination or Judicial Imposition? Translating the Theory into Practice SALLY DOWDING
11. Who Wins, Who Loses and Who Recovers from Divorce? HAYLEY FISHER AND HAMISH LOW
12. Pension Accumulation and Gendered Household Structures: What are the Implications of Changes in Family Formation for Future Financial Inequality? DEBORA PRICE
Part IV: A Rational Approach?
13. Rational Decision-making and Intimate Cohabitation ANTONY W DNES
14. Legal Rationality and Family Property: What has Love got to do with it? ANNE BARLOW


“As an edited collection of fourteen essays drawing upon the expertise from a group of eminent scholars in their respective fields, this book does not merely contribute to the already extensive literature on the statutory provisions governing ancillary relief and the current legal position of cohabitants. Instead, Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets develops a unique inter-disciplinary line of enquiry that provides an innovative, fresh and considered approach to the way in which the legal profession analyses the current legal framework. This renders the text a fascinating and informative read through enabling the reader to view a well-known and much-travelled area of the law from a new perspective.
Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets is an engaging and well constructed collection of essays. Its inter-disciplinary nature ensures that its readership is likely to be diverse and its methodology provides a skilful means of connecting up previously disconnected disciplines.
Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets paves the way for further studies which would again ensure wider dissemination and greater familiarity of ideas across cutting disciplines.
Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets would appeal to all involved in this fast-moving and intriguing area of legal regulation. The authors deserve praise for skilfully bringing together disciplines in such an engaging manner and it is hoped that their encouragement for interdisciplinary study will stimulate subsequent research projects.

” –  Andrew Hayward, Child and Family Law Quarterly, Volume 22, No.3, 2010

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