Community of Property - a regime for England and Wales?

A Nuffield Foundation funded project to investigate the benefits and disadvantages of a European-style community of property regime for married and cohabiting couples, as compared with the system of separate property which exists in England and Wales. The prime motivation for the project was the predicted Europeanisation of English family law coupled with the acknowledged problems both of the wide discretionary basis of the redistribution of assets on divorce and the lack of discretion in adjusting cohabitants assets on relationship breakdown in England and Wales.

This contrasts with the position in other European countries where varieties of matrimonial regimes are imposed by law. The study undertook empirical research in three comparator jurisdictions, namely France, the Netherlands and Sweden before examining what the user response in England and Wales might be to a community of property regime.

The project started in October 2004 and was completed in June 2006; a report of the project's findings was published in November 2006 by The Nuffield Foundation.

The research team

Additional documentation

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