If you are going into another relationship and you have built up assets then it would be wise to look at having a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up to protect the assets you are bringing into your new relationship. This agreement will define the property that you wish to exclude from any future break up and also lists what both of you are bringing in and what you want to take back out. Of course, it protects your new partner as well as the agreement will cover off on both your assets.
This can save a lot of heartache and misunderstanding should the relationship not work out. It can save you several years in Court of arguments and large financial sums of money being paid to lawyers working out the issues that have arisen. If you are about to go into a de facto relationship or contemplating marriage it pays to speak with us about the issue of protecting property from prior to the new relationship so you are both clear at the very beginning of your relationship how any future division will look.
There are two ways your can settle property matters in New Zealand either by reaching an agreement (post nuptial agreement) or by going to Court and obtaining a Court Order. To have the Court settle means a complete stranger (Judge) will preside over your matters and make an Order.
We have seen couples who have argued on every point for several years before getting a Hearing date only to leave the Court dazed and confused on the settlement the Judge has reached for them. Then they sit down and reach an agreement that they can both live with and have frequently said if we knew it was going to be like this at the beginning, we would have settled right at the start.
You can take control, no matter how hard it seems, and you can control the process, and the amount spent on legal fees by making an agreement on what and how you want to divide property.