Are You in a De Facto Relationship?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

It is common knowledge that when a married couple in New Zealand gets divorced, they, general speaking, get half each of all the property owned by the parties.  In New Zealand this asset division also extends to de facto relationships of more than three years, but what is a de facto relationship?  A marriage is easy to identify:  there is a wedding, someone cuts the cake, there is usually an adorable child in charge of the rings and most importantly, a legal document; a marriage certificate which says you are married.  However, de facto relationships are not so easy to identify. Read more

Are You Getting Your Fair Share of Relationship Property Upon a Break Up?

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act") applies to marriages, civil unions and de facto relationships.  Generally under the Act, at the end of one of these relationships, the parties receive a 50:50 share of all the relationship property.  This usually includes the home, family chattels, and all other property acquired during the relationship.  However the Court does have the power to award a lump sum payment or order the transfer of relationship property from one party in the relationship to the other under Section 15 of the Act. Read more

The New Draft Trusts Bill and its Suggested Disclosure Rules - How Could This Affect You?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A new Trusts Bill has recently been released for public consultation.  This bill updates and changes various aspects of trust law.  One interesting proposed change is the rights beneficiaries have to trust information.  The most recent judicial case involving beneficiaries and trust information is Erceg v Erceg [2017] NZSC 28.  The Supreme Court did not find that there was a presumption for or against disclosure of trust documents, but that there is an "expectation that basic trust information will be disclosed to a close beneficiary who wants it".  The Supreme Court's analysis did differ from the lower Courts.  The Supreme Court listed certain factors to take into consideration when courts receive a request for disclosure.  They are: Read more

Are You Entitled To Value From Your (Soon-to-Be) Ex-Spouse's or Ex-Partner's Trust?

Monday, March 13, 2017

What happens if your relationship ends and your spouse/partner has previously settled property in a trust?  If the trust is valid, and there have been no dispositions to which the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 applies, there are two ways you may make a claim against that property. Read more

Dispelling Some Of The Myths About Property Division On Separation

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Most people who have been through a separation would agree that it is a difficult and stressful time. This can be exacerbated when there is confusion or misunderstanding about what property is classed as relationship property and what property is classed as separate property. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“the Act”) provides a code for how property is to be divided on separation for couples who are married, in a civil union partnership or de facto/same sex relationship.  Read more

Recent Posts


Tenants Psychological abuse Testamentary freedom Asset Protection Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 Recovery of money Section 15A Twelve years Deceased's wishes Validity of Wills Charities WINZ Work and Income Acknowledgment of Debt Frustration Duress Immigration New Zealand Amundson v Raos Insurance Domestic Violence Act 1995 Visa application Lease Titles Company Law Family Trusts Economic disadvantage Testamentary capacity De facto Companies Act 1993 Shareholders' Agreement Mortgagor Fair Trading Act 1986 Lankow v Rose Maritime Law Creating Trusts Body Corporate Domestic violence Re Estate of Campbell Employment Personal Rest Home Subsidies Albany Office Trust Check Up Valid wills White v White Ilott v Mitson 2017 UKSC 17 Anti-money laundering (AML) Re Estate of Feron Directors' Duties Wills Act 2007 Section 8 Privacy Act 1993 Lump sum Partnership based work visa Property Character requirements Business Financial services provider (FSP) Living standards Resident Vessel surveyor SN v MN [2017] NZCA 289 Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA) Tenant Terms of Trade SMC Executors duty Estate Administration Financial products Interpretation Act 1999 Mortgage Trust busting Trust Confidentiality Gifts Loss of income Will that do Beneficiary Rights Legislation update Financial services Wilson v Donnellan Part payment Limitation Act 2010 Seperation Eviction Expression of interest Division of Functions Broadbent v Ministry of Social Development Section 182 Family Proceedings Act 1980 Charity Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) Testamentary writing Trusts Bill Tamarapa v Byerley Changes Case Study Vessel survey Physical abuse Lease Landlord Protection Order Administrators duty Invalid wills KiwiSaver Financial Advisers Act 2008 Limitation defence Abuse Relationship Property Interpretation Act 1999 Section 29 Testamentary Promises Blackwell v Hollings Six years Gifting Violence Charity begins at home Civil union Family Protection Act 1955 Mortgagee Commercial Property Resident Visa Break up Marriage Trustee Duties Intellectual Property Property (Relationships) Act 1976 Skilled migrant Trusts Unfair contract terms Auckland Office Consumer credit contracts Commercial Clayton case Will Claims against estates Contract Law Due Diligence Interest Skilled migrant points Erceg v Erceg Undue influence Hawkes Bay Trustee Company Limited v Judd Limitation Act 1950 ''Best Endeavours'' Wills Act 2007 Section 11 Commercial Law Grey Power Subsidies Partner of resident Income Offending Document Disclosure Acknowledgment Verbal abuse Fair share Sale of Goods Health and Safety Reform Bill Vessel Sale and Purchase Constructive trusts Limitation period Wills Act 2007 Section 14 Murrell v Hamilton Repayment Elder Law Ship Pattern of offending Temper Wills Act 2007 Residential Immigration Reckless Trading Personal Properties and Securities Act 1999 Litigation Interpretation of documents Ministry Zero Hour Contracts Principal Ministry of Social Development Protector Section 15 Wills Compensation