An application for an order dissolving marriage (commonly known as a divorce) can be made after two years of separation. Applications for a dissolution of marriage can be brought by either one spouse alone or by both spouses jointly. We can advise on the practicalities of each option and prepare and submit the necessary application to the Family Court on your behalf.
Separating from a spousal partner is a difficult process. Many clients who come to see us are not absolutely sure that they wish to separate. We can offer advice about counselling through the Family Court, a service which many clients find invaluable. In the event that separation does proceed we can advise on the division of assets under the Property (Relationships) Act, on the care of children, and, if appropriate, on the dissolution of your marriage.
Section 21 Agreements can be made at any time. Sometimes called Relationship Property Agreements or ‘Pre-Nuptial Agreements’, Contracting Out Agreements are used when couples entering into a relationship want to make sure assets, such as those acquired through inheritance, are protected in the event of a separation. We understand the sensitive nature of Section 21 Agreements. Our team is here to advise you on all aspects with discretion, giving you clear, pragmatic advice and a sound outcome.
Upon separation, spousal maintenance may be available to a spouse or partner who, due to the roles during the relationship, is currently unable to support themselves. Spousal maintenance issues are often resolved at the same time as those relating to care of children and relationship property. It can take the form of a payment for the interim, past and future needs of the spouse or partner. We can advise the likelihood of a successful application for maintenance, on the duration for which the maintenance will be payable and the possible quantum of the payment.
Parties who separate sometimes wish to move away from their current home, whether within New Zealand or overseas. This can be for a variety of reasons such as work opportunities and extended family support. Understandably a proposed relocation is often opposed by the parent who is remaining in their current locality. Relocation can be a lengthy and difficult process given that, under the Care of Children Act, the best interests of the child are paramount, usually meaning the child having contact on a regular basis with both parents. We can advise on the prospects of success should an application for relocation be desired. We can also advise on the availability of an Order Preventing Removal of a child if there are concerns that a child is to be taken overseas and not returned to New Zealand.