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22 Feb 2018 8:09
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  •   Home > News > Living & Travel

    Property laws after divorce being reviewed

    A 40-year-old law that sets the rules for dividing a couple's property at the end of a relationship is to be reviewed.

    How property is shared following the end of a relationship will be the subject of a major law review in the coming months.

    The Law Commission is reviewing the 40-year-old Property (Relationships) Act, which sets the rules for how property is divided after a relationship breaks up.

    "In the last 40 years, New Zealand has changed a lot," says the Law Commission's Helen McQueen.

    "This includes the way relationships and families form, how they function and what happens when relationships end."

    On October 16, the Commission will launch Dividing Relationship Property: Time for Change? It will ask for public feedback until February and then produce a final report in November 2018.

    Issues the paper will address, Ms McQueen said, will include whether the right property is being shared, the role of trusts, what happens if one person is financially worse off after the relationship ends, the role of children, and how the law can be inexpensive and simple to apply.

    "The Property (Relationships) Act affects nearly every New Zealander, either directly or indirectly. It's important that everyone has a say," Ms McQueen said.


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