Insights & Articles

Family Law & Relationship Property

Enforcing a Nikah (an Islamic marriage contract)

Enforcing a Nikah (an Islamic marriage contract)

Written by:
Peter Fuscic
Rosanna Wu and Amber Holdaway
If you and your partner intend to enter into a nikah, it is important to consult with a lawyer to advise you of the possible effects and implications of that agreement and your property rights should you and your partner separate. If you and your partner have already separated and you have entered into a nikah, a lawyer can also advise you on what that means for your relationship property entitlements.
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The importance of Prenuptial Agreements has increased

The importance of Prenuptial Agreements has increased

Written by:
Peter Fuscic
Protecting assets has become an integral aspect of modern relationships, with the growing importance of prenuptial agreements for safeguarding individual interests. In June 2023, the New Zealand Supreme Court issued a significant ruling in the case of Sutton v Bell, which centered on Sections 44 and 26 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("PRA"). This decision marks a pivotal shift in the interpretation of key legal provisions governing property rights in relationships.
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Mediating Trust Disputes

Mediating Trust Disputes

Written by:
Peter Fuscic
Niamh Forgie
Countless families across New Zealand place their most valuable assets, such as their property, into a discretionary family trust. However, when a couple separate and each party is a trustee to the same family trust, conflict and disagreement will often arise as to the management and enjoyment of trust assets. Disagreements on internal trust matters have the possibility of turning into time-consuming, expensive and public proceedings in court. Mediation is an alternative solution for settling trust disputes and may be a more advantageous option for parties.
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Separation - What's in a date?

Separation - What's in a date?

Written by:
Peter Fuscic
Vinnie Kumar
When was it over? When to call it quits? When did you say goodbye? Am I separated? What's in a date? In the midst of a relationship breakdown, when you and your former partner are separated is not often a front-of-mind question. However, your separation date can be important information in family law proceedings.
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Setting Aside Relationship Property Contracting Out Agreements

Setting Aside Relationship Property Contracting Out Agreements

Written by:
Peter Fuscic
Niamh Forgie
Entering into a relationship property contracting out agreement ("prenuptial agreement" or "premarital agreement") allows couples to determine together how they would like their separate and shared property divided if separation or death occurs.
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To Vaccinate or Not: Parental Decisions About Paediatric Covid-19 Vaccination

To Vaccinate or Not: Parental Decisions About Paediatric Covid-19 Vaccination

Written by:
Rosanna Wu
Parents have the mutual goal of wanting the best for their child. Naturally, there are disagreements as to what "the best" means. A notably difficult decision has arisen in recent years for parents about whether or not their child is going to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. This is a guardianship issue in family law.
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Travel From Level 3 to Level 2 for Shared Care as of 11.59 pm 28 September 2021

Travel From Level 3 to Level 2 for Shared Care as of 11.59 pm 28 September 2021

Written by:
Alissa Bell
At 3.00 pm on 28 September 2021, the Government announced changes to travel during the current Alert Level 3. Travel across the border from Level 3 into Level 2 has been strictly limited, but the new rules that take effect at 11:59 pm tonight (28 September 2021) now permit travel across the border if one or more of the following situations applies to you:
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Facilitating Day-to-Day Care and Contact Through the Covid-19 Delta Variant Lockdown

Facilitating Day-to-Day Care and Contact Through the Covid-19 Delta Variant Lockdown

Written by:
Alissa Bell
Due to the recent presence of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant within communities throughout New Zealand, the country has been placed into an Alert Level 4 Lockdown. The stringent lockdown restrictions may have implications for parents who have shared care arrangements, Parenting Orders, or who are involved in Family Court proceedings. This can create an added level of stress and anxiety as parents try to navigate both lockdown rules and day-to-day care of their children.
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Is There Such a Thing as a Conflict Free Separation?

Is There Such a Thing as a Conflict Free Separation?

Written by:
Alissa Bell
A separation doesn't have to be fraught with conflict, including when Lawyers are involved. If you have recently separated and need some assistance with resolving a dispute involving property and/or children you may want to consider doing so under the framework of Collaborative Advocacy.
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Is Your Overseas 'Pre-Nup' Valid in New Zealand?

Is Your Overseas 'Pre-Nup' Valid in New Zealand?

Written by:
Alissa Bell
If you or someone you know has signed a Prenuptial Agreement, Premarital Agreement, Antenuptial Contract or Contracting Out Agreement in a country outside of New Zealand, then you/ they should find out if and how that Agreement applies in New Zealand. Irrespective of where these types of documents are signed, they generally have a similar purpose; that being to determine the status, ownership and value of assets at the start and end of a couple's relationship. But, are they valid when you have moved away from the country of signing?
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