This article surveys the development, over the last half-century, of the law in relation to trusts of the family home in Ireland. The focus on disputes over the beneficial ownership of the family home, the most important asset owned by many families, will allow a consideration of the evolution of an aspect of the law of resulting and constructive trusts, set against the background of relevant legislative developments. The most common trigger for disputes over the beneficial ownership of the family home is the breakdown of an intimate relationship, whether a marriage, a civil partnership, or a cohabitation. However, the trigger could also be the death or bankruptcy of one of the parties, or a dispute with creditors. In addition, not all disputes arising on the breakdown of a relationship will involve an issue related to the ownership of the family home, one obvious reason being that many couples live in rented accommodation. There is, therefore, an imperfect match between the area of the law of equity conveniently described as ‘trusts of the family home’ and the issue of the property consequences of relationship breakdown. Nonetheless, the development of this area of the law of equity has clearly been dominated by concerns as to the latter issue …
John Mee, ‘Trusts Of The Family Home: Social Change, Judicial Innovation And Legislative Reform’, Irish Jurist 2016, 56(56), 161-179.