Under the Property (Relationships) Act, what used to be only Matrimonial Property now covers property of any Domestic Relationship.

If a relationship lasts for three years or more, the Relationship Property, including the family home, is subject to equal division, so each gets half of all Relationship Property.

There can be arguments about whether property is Relationship Property or Separate Property of either spouse or de facto partner.

There are a number of exceptions to the equal sharing principle – for example, “economic disparity”, where there are children and one party has stayed at home sacrificing a career to raise the children. The law has become quite complex as a result of the development of social policy in the legislation and so legal advice should always be sought.

In addition to assisting clients where a relationship has broken down, John also helps in preparing, or advising on, agreements to contract out of the Property (Relationships) Act or to resolve and settle property issues. (These agreements are often referred to as “Contracting-Out Agreements” or “Pre-nuptial Agreements”). All parties need independent legal advice before signing such an agreement and John knows other local lawyers who are able to provide such independent advice.

John’s Experience


John has advised and advocated for clients in such disputes for more than 20 years.

He has dealt with division of property issues covering both Relationship Property and Separate Property, including cases where each party owned a home before the relationship.

Contact John on (09) 477 0333 or email him to find out more about how his services in relation to Relationship Property can help you.