It's Thursday morning at the National Family Law Conference and there has been some interesting pondering over the dilemma that faces family law when dealing with a property settlement for older couples. This is a dilemma which will just continue to grow with an ageing population and people expected to live longer.
To complicate these scenarios even further, more of these cases are likely to involve couples in a second or subsequent relationship with their own children from previous relationships.
Add into that mix that the comparative positions may include one party being healthier than the other, one party needing nursing care and the other not, one likely to live much longer than the other.
While the Family Law Act has us look at both contributions and needs, a lot more time is usually spent on looking back at the contributions. When parties are close to retirement or indeed already retired, there is a need to look at what are the future needs. This will mean that we need to look more at the costs people will occur not just in the 3 to 5 years post their separation but right up to death.