Advice for separation and divorce

Advice on The Property Relationship Act

Separation Agreements

Contracting out agreements

Family law advice for separation and divorce

If your relationship has recently broken down and you and your partner are separating or considering divorce, you may need help to prepare a separation agreement.  

A separation agreement lays out the details of how property will be divided between you and your partner, as well as how your children will be supported. Our team is experienced in making this process as easy and painless as possible for you.

The Property Relationship Act and separation agreements

The Property Relationship Act lays out a framework for the handling of separations that is generalised and not tailored to your specific circumstances. Unless you have a written separation agreement that has been signed by both of you and for which you have both received independent legal advice, your agreement is not binding and will be superseded by the Property Relationship Act.

As the default arrangements dictated by the Act may not suit your circumstances, it’s important that you and your partner both engage separate legal advice and have a binding agreement drawn up so you can be certain everything will be sorted according to your wishes.

The Law Connection can help you with preparing an agreement which complies with the formalities of the Property Relationship Act.

De facto, civil union, or marriage

The Property Relationship Act applies not just to married partners, but also to de facto and civil union relationships.

Under the act, many criteria are considered that might lead to the presumption of equal sharing or some form of entitlement. These criteria include the length of your relationship and the parental responsibility for any children, whether born from the relationship or adopted within it.

Contracting out agreements

Even if you are familiar with New Zealand Property Law, discussing your sale, purchase or lease of any property with a lawyer before you sign on the dotted line is crucial. The risks to you of skipping this step are serious, especially if your property transaction involves co-ownership.

It is possible to contract out of the provisions of the Property Relationships Act by drawing up an agreement between you and your partner that documents the way your property should be divided.

If you and your partner own unequal property and wish for that not to change if your relationship ends, such an agreement protects you both and ensures property is divided as per your wishes.

The Law Connection staff have many years of experience in advising individuals and couples as to the best way to structure their affairs. It may well be that you need not just a contracting out agreement, but also a family trust to protect your assets.

Our staff can advise you on what’s best for your situation and take you through the process step by step.

Child support as part of the Property Relationship Act

Child support is money paid by a parent who is not living with his or her children to help financially support their children.

The aim of the law is to make sure that parents take financial responsibility for their children; it is an important and often sensitive part of any separation agreement negotiation and an area where our experience can be invaluable.

Care of Children

While The Law Connection does not act in the area of Child Law and Care of Children, we have an excellent relationship with several other firms and can make a referral if you wish.

Fill out the form below, we will get back you soon.

we offer a free 15 minute consultation