financially weaker spouses,
property law in British Columibia,
property law in England and Wales,
property law in Ireland
Although the property rights of spouses in Ireland continue to be held on the basis of title and are not automatically modified by marriage, some modifications to the separate property regime have been made. This article focuses, in particular, on the protection afforded to non-owning spouses against the unilateral disposition of the family home pursuant to the Family Home Protection Act 1976. Ireland is unusual in the common law world as the 1976 Act automatically confers non-owning spouses with a right to veto the conveyance of any interest in the family home. The article questions whether the 1976 Act has faded into irrelevance in the Ireland of 2013. Concluding that the legislation continues to play a vital role in the protection of spouses in Ireland, the article argues that similar legislation ought to be considered in other common law countries where the unilateral disposition of the family home is not subject to comprehensive legislative restrictions. In particular, the article focuses on the weaknesses in the protection afforded to non-owning spouses in the family home inter vivos in England and Wales and British Columbia, Canada. Arguing that legislative reform would considerably bolster the position of vulnerable, non-owning, spouses in both jurisdictions, the article concludes with a discussion of the key lessons to be learned from the Irish approach.