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This topic is duplicated under "Matrimonial Property" and under "Property (Relationships) Act 1976".


As at the 1 February 2002 the whole law changed and is now covered by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.   (They kept the year 1976, but changed the whole Act.  It seems confusing, but it is a new Act).

We will provide you with:

  • Direct Access to the full Act of Parliament.
  • A Full Overview of the Law.
  • Practical Steps to Reach an Agreement.
  • Full Draft Property Agreements. Separation and Pre-Nuptial.
  • Full Court Documentation if Agreement Fails.   

We also give you practical know how on Superannuation, Caveats or Notices of Claims on titles and Judicial Settlement Conferences. 

You may access the full  Property ( Relationships ) Act 1976 directly by clicking on to the following hyperlink provided below.  


We suggest you read through the full text of this site first. We will provide the direct links again for you convenience at the relevant parts of this site.                                           

We give you immediate access  to draft Agreements which you can fill in, alter and print off or copy and paste to your own Word document as you wish.



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"Need some advise as to division of relationship property. Been married 4.5years. No children. Married in Florida and then he moved us to NZ. We then bought two properties which I have always maintained household wise and financially since I always earned a far more significant amount of money he did. Do I have to split 50/50 or is it possible to make a case for more to my favour? Thanks Paulette

Netlaw replies - We assume the properties are in NZ. If they are situated overseas then our Courts cannot determine on them.

Assuming that they are here in NZ then the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 applies. After three years of marriage they are divided equally.

However, there is a possible claim, although it is not easy. Section 13 of the Act establishes the 50/50 split . . . but then says that if "there are extraordinary circumstances that would render equal sharing repugnant to justice" then the Court can, in its discretion, go outside equal sharing. But it is difficult to establish. A disparity of financial contribution is not enough. It must really be a combination of factors within the marriage. But it is worth further detailed analysis.

Also, section 14 applies to marriages of short duration, ie - under three years although the Court can declare a longer marriage to be one of short duration in certain circumstances. All cases are different but if he had an affair or string of affairs or lived apart for significant periods of time then you just might get the marriage declared to be one of short duration. The split can then be less than 50/50 "where the contribution of 1 spouse to the marriage has clearly been disproportionately greater than the contribution of the other spouse".

Hope this helps . . . . Netlaw


"Netlaw, a little advice needed thanks. I was employed overseas for thirty odd years before returning to NZ. About twenty years ago I started contributing to a super scheme. I re-married some 6 years ago, so 14 years before new wife. I ended up being given a pension due to medical grounds, hurt on duty. Now that I receive a pension every fortnight, how is this factored into relationship property?
Netlaw replies: Specific advice is required but the super policy IS relationship property, including the amount saved before the marriage. A specialised accountant called an actuary values the policy based on a "looking into the future" approach which also discounts for variables."

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My partner and I found all your family sites really good. We are fighting a maintenance and custody dispute with his ex and we cannot get legal aid so we are trying to go it alone and your site really helps. The judge actually commented on our documents saying that they were good. Thanks again . . . . Tuia"

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"Please advise - My partner pays his ex-wife child support every week. (The amount was agreed via a settlement agreement nutted out between lawyers at mediation.) Is this child support still payable on weeks when we have the children? (in school holidays we have the children for half of the time). It seems unfair for his ex-wife to be getting paid child support when we are supporting the children.
Netlaw replies - The access you enjoy in the holidays must be averaged out over the whole year. It does not apply on a weekly basis. That sounds unfair but that is the way it has been interpreted. "

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
"Well worth reading. I don't think I will have any more kids!! Louise J Auckland March 2007"
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"I did my dissolution from all your documents and tips. JGH - Auckland - June 2007"
"Hi, great site! I need a bit more help. I need to serve dissolution papers on my ex-husband. However, he cannot be found. I can apply to the court to have them served on his mum instead using the form interlocutory application without notice AND filling in a general Affidavit form. I can't find any help for this on this pages. Also, do I put that my application for one party is made with or without notice? (first page).

Netlaw replies -You have obviously accessed our Dissolution site. Also access our Family Court Rules topic. Our basic documents are correct but you can double check them by going to the Dissolution topic and clicking on to the Direct Link to the Family Court Website. When that topic opens up, scroll down to FORMS, then on to LIST OF FORMS then on to FORMS UNDER FAMILY PROCEEDINGS ACT then down to Forms 11 and 12. Don't forget you have to add an Information Sheet and we have a topic Information Sheet. So that gets you started. 3 documents there.

Right, then go to our topic Family Court Rules and click on to those Rules through the Direct Link provided. When the Rules come up (a little longer if you are only on dial up) then choose Rule 126 which tells you all about substituted service. You need a simple Application (Without Notice) following the same format as your main Application and you need an Affidavit in Support of Application for Substituted Service. 2 documents. You do not need a second Information sheet.

Take your time. But put in the reasons why you need substituted service. Say where he might be, when you last had contact with him, where his extended family live etc. Cheers . . . . Netlaw


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Thank you . . . . Sandie (not my real name)"

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"My wife is claiming spousal maintenace. She lives in the family home and is a qualified secondary school teacher with a degree. We dont have dependent children. Do you think she is entitled to maintenance?

Netlaw replies: No. She would not get spousal maintenance UNLESS she was unable to work because of some illness. IF you had supported her during the relationship, and she did not work even though qualified, she can argue that you should continue to support her now, but that argument would be unlikely to succeed."

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"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
"Now that I understand the principles it has made it easier for me to prepare and make final decisions. thank you. Kirsten."
"Great coverage to have it all laid out. Could you try and give us some uncomplicated documents. yours are useful but are there any simpler docs? Keep up the good work. A really helpful website. Graeme H. Wellington - May 2007"
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

"Hi Netlaw...i have found your site very helpful to me in applying for a parent order. Anexcellent site with the right information, easy to use steps.

Thanks so much :)))"

"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
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"My husband and I liked all this information. Keep it up please! Well worth the $45. We have spent so much on lawyers, blast them. I suppose they are necessary but when we see these concepts set out simply by you in Netlaw we wonder what all the secrecy and fuss was about in other matters. "
"I have heard that through the Will I am able to gift up to $27 500.00 of my property per year to some one that I want to inherit without paying gifting fees where do I find a template for this

Netlaw answers: Good morning,

You posted a blog on Netlaw this morning. We reply as follows.

Gift duty is not payable on money or assets which pass under your will. Therefore, you can leave $1,000,000 to someone in your will and it is not classified as a gift.
However, if you wanted to give someone $1 million during your lifetime then that would attract gift duty at 40 cents in the dollar (subject to a more specific calculation about a lesser amount of gift duty in some bands above $27,000) for any amount gifted over $27,000 per year. This is why gift programmes over a number of years have to be set up during the course of your lifetime to avoid or minimise paying gift duty.
But we repeat - money or assets left under a will are not treated as gifts for gift duty purposes. Nor are death duties payable any more. They were abolished well over 10 years ago.

Cheers . . . . Netlaw"

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