What property should be relationship property?

Relationship property is the property the partners must share equally when a relationship ends. The partners calculate the total value of relationship property they must share by first deducting the value of relationship debts. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 lists what property is relationship property. Generally, property is relationship property for one of two reasons:…

What property should the law focus upon?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 only applies to conventional forms of property that either or both partners own. In a typical relationship the major property is things like a house, a car, furniture, appliances and computers, savings, and KiwiSaver. Some partners might have access to other resources that provide financial benefits. But the law might…

Documents

Here is a list of PDF resources to download or read online: Issues Paper Dividing relationship property – Time for change? Te mātatoha rawa tokorau – Kua eke te wā? Consultation Paper Study Paper Relationships and families in contemporary New Zealand – He hononga tangata, he hononga whānau i Aotearoa o nāianei 4-page handout Media release

Study paper

Download our Study Paper, Relationships and Families in Contemporary New Zealand – He hononga tangata, he hononga whānau i Aotearoa o nāianei (NZLC SP22, 2017) (1.3MB file size) Or read it online:

Issues paper

You can download our issues paper  Dividing Relationship Property – Time for Change? Te mātatoha rawa tokorau – Kua eke te wā? [NZLC IP41], or read any of the parts online: Cover page and opening pages Part A – Introducing our review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 Part B – What relationships should the…

Using and occupying property after separation

Even though people who have separated must to divide their property, one partner may need to use or occupy property for a certain period. The court can grant orders giving a partner the right to occupy the family’s home. A court can make occupation orders either because the partner needs the use of the house…

Getting access to property before the final division

People who separate might take time to finally sort out the division of their property. If they go to court to resolve disputes, it can take several years. In the meantime, people need access to money to pay for day-to-day living costs. They might also have extra costs because of the separation, like setting up…

What should happen when a family owns pets?

The law says that household pets can be relationship property. That means partners have to share them when a relationship ends. The problem is that a pet cannot be physically divided. A pet is also different to other types of property. A pet can offer a family love and friendship. But it also has ongoing…

Does the Court have the right powers to divide property?

Different people own very different types of property. Sometimes, the property might be things we are all familiar with, like houses, cars and savings. In other cases, the property might be more complex, like rights to ACC payments, company shares or a legal claim against someone else. When a court comes to divide a couple’s…

Valuing property

When a couple divides their property at the end of a relationship, the partners must first work out the total value of all their relationship property. They then deduct outstanding relationship debts. The partners share the net value of relationship property. The actual division will usually mean that the partners each take assets of a…

What are the exceptions to equal sharing?

The equal sharing rule will not apply to relationships that last less than three years. We look at those relationships here. A partner might get more property if equal sharing does not lead to equality. There might be cases where someone has sacrificed a career to care for the family’s children and home. When the…

Equal sharing of relationship property

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 says that each partner should share equally in the couple’s relationship property. We look at what relationship property means in what property should be covered by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. The general rule of equal sharing is very important. It gives each partner an automatic right. They need not…

Tell us what you think

Introducing the Law Commission’s review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 What relationships should the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 cover? What property should the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 cover? How should the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 divide property? How should the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 treat short-term relationships? What should happen when equal sharing does not lead…