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This site will give you everything you need to know about the formal and legal dissolution of you marriage.  (previously known as divorce).

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We will give you all the steps and the documents to do your own Dissolution.

You will be able to fill in the documents with your own details and print them off.

In addition you have access to every other topic on the NetLaw Website and,  in particular,  we refer you to the related topics we have put in the boxes at the top and the bottom of this page.

The term divorce is no longer used in New Zealand.

"DIVORCE" is now an outdated and useless term and it went out of existence in October 1981.

However many people still use the term "divorce" in everyday speech because we suppose that "being divorced" has a little more meaning than "being dissolved".

Now, when we make the final break in a marriage, we now say that the marriage has been "dissolved" and the term "dissolution of marriage" is the proper term to use.

A dissolution is different from a separation.

A separation, even if it is recorded by way of a formal Court Order or contained in a written Separation Agreement, still only records the fact that the parties are separated.

In fact, there is no necessity to have a formal Separation Agreement other than to have contained within that Agreement matters such as guardianship, custody, access, maintenance and matrimonial property. 

See out special site entitled  - Separation

It is convenient to use the word Separation Agreement but it is now no longer necessary to have one.

In the bad old days, one of the grounds for getting divorced was either living apart for four years or living apart for two years if there had been a formal Separation Order or Separation Agreement.

Again, in the bad old days, prior to October 1981, there were 21 grounds for divorce including everything from habitual drunkenness to good old fashioned adultery. Those days are now long gone.

Divorces used to heard in the High Court.

Terrible cases took place where one party would divorce the other on the grounds of adultery and Private Detectives and neighbours were used to spy on loving couples in order to provide evidence for "the Petitioner" who was seeking to obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery. 

It w

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Feedback / Reviews / Blogs on this topic
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"Up to date. Great. the IRD Child Support site is so hard to follow. You need a computer degree. You tell it like it is. (One pissed off father)


"Bloody fantastic coverage. Easy to understand and work out. Mike R - Auckland Central"
"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: Child Support
"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


Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"I did my own documents and got before a Judge and got my own order for protection. I reckon I did it faster then my lawyer last time I need such an order two years ago.
Thank you . . . . Sandie (not my real name)"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"Great coverage. Keep updating the whole website, Netlaw. Barbara K - Hamilton"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"Hi, what is the success of wives asking for spousal support today? is it a common application or is it becoming too rare because there is DPB available and also because the system is changing and not favoring this type of maintenance anymore?? I just like to have a rough idea if I should pursue this. I've recently been made redundant, am getting no child maintenance and my ex says that I wont be able to get anything anyway as his business is off shore...Any help will be great thanks.

Netlaw replies: It is not common because the DPB is well above what most partners could afford, and still maintain themselves. But in financially well off families spousal maintenance is a runner, particularly until a matrimonial property division provides the partner in need with a large lump sum. Then, the need for extra maintenance dissipates. Apply for a benefit immediately and then apply also to the Family Court for an order for spousal maintenance. If the orders you receive amount to LESS than the DPB then that money goes towards the benefit, not on top. But if your order is MORE than the benefit then you just go off the benefit and take the sum awarded."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"Great to see all the relevant Acts laid out with direct reference to your own topics - Christie - Thames"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Child Support
"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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