Articles: Family & Relationship Property

Protection of Property Rights Act and mental incapability

What happens when a family member becomes mentally incapable through injury or illness and there is no enduring power of attorney in place?

What if my child is born with an intellectual disability and they are unable to care for themselves and sort their own finances when they are an adult?

You may be able to apply to the Family Court for appointment as a welfare guardian and/or property manager.


Section 21 aka 'pre-nup' agreement- do you need one?

A section 21 agreement, also known as a contracting out agreement, relationship property agreement or ‘pre-nup’, is a written agreement that allows couples to make arrangements about the status, ownership and division of property upon separation or death. This agreement ‘contracts out’ of the equal-sharing relationship property rule under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the Act).

These agreements can cover any and all property owned by either party and the parties are free to decide on the division they see fit.


Breaking up is hard to do

As a general rule the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 states that when relationship property is divided, each party shares equally (i.e. 50/50) in the family home, family chattels, and any other ‘relationship property’.


Protection Orders - What are they and what are their implications?

What is required to obtain a protection order?

To obtain a protection order, the person applying (the applicant) must prove three things:

  1. A domestic relationship exists;
  2. There has been domestic violence; and
  3. A protection order is necessary for their ongoing protection.


Family Services - Have Your Say

As part of the Government’s wider commitment to ensuring New Zealand courts became modern, accessible and responsive to children and vulnerable people, the family justice system was radically reformed in 2014. The intent of the reforms was aimed at the Family Court being used as a last resort for the most serious and complex cases, with other disputes involving the new Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) service (an independent mediation service). Disputes involving the risk of violence were intended to be fast-tracked and without notice to the other party utilising family lawyers. In this article, we focus on a couple of areas of interest regarding FDR.