Many families in New Zealand use trusts to hold property. Around one out of every seven homes in New Zealand is held on trust. Many people have created a trust, or they are involved as a trustee or beneficiary.
Trusts can cause problems when people in a relationship separate. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 says that normally the partners must divide all their relationship property equally. But often the Act will not apply to trusts. So people do not share any property held on a trust in the same way.
Because of the problems trusts can cause, the law provides remedies. Sometimes a court can order that a partner should get some of the trust property. But different laws give the court different powers. This makes the law inconsistent and difficult to apply.
We think that the law needs to change. We want to know when you think is it appropriate for a partner to get a share of the trust property at the end of a relationship.