As specialist divorce & separation lawyers, we will compassionately help you navigate a distressing and stressful time whilst ensuring your best interest are protected.
First steps on separation
While you need to be separated from your spouse for two years before you can legally divorce in New Zealand, there are steps you can take as soon as you separate (or are contemplating separation) to protect your assets and interests. after you separate
Some of these can even be done when you are contemplating separation. You do not have to wait for two years to finalise these separation details – in fact waiting can be detrimental to your interests.
The Divorce Process
If you have met the legal separation requirements for divorce and have completed the legal division of your relationship property, then we can help you decide whether to apply for dissolution of marriage as an individual or jointly with your spouse or civil union partner and make the necessary application to the Family Court.
It is important to note the divorce proceedings and competing dissolution of marriage does not fully resolve your relationship property. It is important that this is completed before or at the time you legally divorce.
Separating Relationship Property
Whether you are ending a marriage, civil union, or a de facto relationship, it is extremely important for you to meet all the legal requirements to finalise separation of your relationship property as soon as possible. Otherwise, your ex-partner may be able to make claims on future earnings and assets you acquire in the future or make a claim against your estate should you pass away.
You will need a formal end of relationship agreement, sometimes known as a Separation Agreement or Relationship Property Agreement.
As divorce and separation experts, we can assist you with simple divisions of property through to complex relationship property divisions involving family trusts, family businesses, family farms and/or existing Contracting Out Agreements. As skilled negotiators who are experts in family law (and the Court’s interpretation of family laws) we will help you achieve the best possible outcome so that you can go on with your life.
As part of a full service firm, we can advise you on and finalise all aspects of the process, including completing the conveyancing to sell or transfer property (and for new property purchases), winding up family trusts and establishing new family trusts, drafting new a new will and new enduring powers or attorney.
We can help you with:
- Severing joint tenancies
- Determining separation dates
- Formalising division of property
- Negotiating division of relationship property
- Drafting end of relationship agreements (Separation Agreements/Relationship Property Agreements)
- Negotiating spousal maintenance, economic disparity or occupational rent (where applicable)
- Notices of claim
- Resettling Family Trusts
- Updating your will