Compensation for Contributions Made After Separation

Section 18B of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 is a crucial provision that addresses the issue of compensation for contributions made after the end of a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship. This provision recognises that even after a relationship has ended, individuals may continue to make contributions that should be acknowledged and compensated. In this article, we delve further into the application of s18B and explore additional examples of how it can be utilised in different scenarios.

Compensation for Contributions:
The relevant period referred to in s18B is the duration after the termination of the marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship (excluding cases where it ends due to the death of one of the spouses or partners). During this period, if a spouse or partner undertakes actions that would have been deemed contributions to the relationship had it not ended, the spouse or partner who made the contribution on behalf of both parties should be compensated for meeting that joint obligation.

Example 1: Financial Contributions:
Consider a situation where a couple separates, and one partner moves out of the family home. The remaining partner continues to pay the mortgage and diligently maintains the property. Although the relationship has ended, these actions can be viewed as contributions to relationship property. Section 18B allows for compensation for the partner who contributed to the maintenance of the property, either in the form of a monetary sum or through the transfer of property in the division.

Example 2: Renovations and Improvements:
Suppose a couple separates, but one partner remains in the jointly owned family home. During the relevant period, this partner invests significant time, effort, and funds into renovating and improving the property. These actions can be seen as contributions to the relationship, enhancing the value of the relationship property. In such cases, s18B enables compensation for the partner who made these contributions.

Example 3: Business Development and Investments:
In situations where one partner has dedicated time and resources to develop a business or make investments during the relevant period after separation, s18B may come into play. If these efforts can be considered contributions to the relationship, then compensation to ensure that the effort is recognised and fairly rewarded is possible.

Section 18B plays a significant role in ensuring that contributions made after the end of a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship are recognised and fairly compensated.  This provision empowers the parties to either agree on the amount of compensation that is appropriate or failing agreement the Court may order compensation for individuals who have continued to contribute to the relationship property.

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