The Law Commission's 9 key proposals to the Relationship Property Act

by Donna Chisholm / 07 January, 2019
Illustration/Getty Images

Illustration/Getty Images

RelatedArticlesModule - Law Commission Relationship Property

The Law Commission’s “preferred approach” to a new Relationship Property Act includes proposals to:

1. Make children’s best interests the primary consideration in relationship property splits.

2. Give courts the power to set relationship property aside for the benefit of dependent children.

3. Favour granting occupation or tenancy orders to the primary caregiver.

4. Postpone the vesting of relationship property if doing so immediately would cause undue hardship for any minor or dependent child.

5. Make it easier for lawyers to represent children in legal proceedings.

6. Entitle separating couples to share future family income through a Family Income Sharing Arrangement (Fisa), which replaces existing maintenance and economic disparity provisions. Couples would be entitled to Fisa if they have a child together, have been together 10 or more years, or one partner reduced or didn’t take on paid work to make contributions to the relationship (e.g. by raising children as the stay-at-home parent).

7. Treat property acquired by one partner before the relationship began, or inherited during it, as separate, and not to be divided equally. The other partner should be entitled to only half the increase in value of the property during the relationship.

8. Enable courts to intervene in “contracting out” agreements – where couples agree not to be bound by the Property (Relationships) Act – in the best interests of the children, if the agreement causes serious injustice.

9. Enable courts to use property held in trust to settle relationship property claims when any claim or rights under the act are frustrated by the use of a trust.

The Law Commission plans to present its final report by June 2019.

This article was first published in the December 15, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

The best thing to come from the Black Caps' defeat
108621 2019-07-20 00:00:00Z Sport

The best thing to come from the Black Caps' defeat…

by Paul Thomas

For New Zealanders, the Cricket World Cup final was a brutal reminder of sport’s great paradox. But there's hope on the horizon.

Read more
What New Zealand can do about the militarisation of space
108498 2019-07-20 00:00:00Z Tech

What New Zealand can do about the militarisation o…

by Duncan Steel

We may decry the notion, but the hostile use of space is creeping into the plans of various countries.

Read more
Five technologies from the space race that we take for granted
108506 2019-07-20 00:00:00Z Tech

Five technologies from the space race that we take…

by Peter Griffin

If US$154 billion to land 12 men on the Moon seems excessive, consider the things we use every day that had their roots in a Nasa lab.

Read more
Top investigator urges police to speak up about wrongful convictions
108539 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Crime

Top investigator urges police to speak up about wr…

by Mike White

Mike White talks to investigator Tim McKinnel, who says police often turn a blind eye to possible corruption out of a misplaced sense of loyalty.

Read more
Jacinda Ardern to focus on Australia deportations in talks with Scott Morrison
108570 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Politics

Jacinda Ardern to focus on Australia deportations…

by Craig McCulloch

PM Jacinda Ardern has doubled down on her criticism of Australia's deportation policy as "corrosive", ahead of her meeting with Scott Morrison.

Read more
How closed adoption robbed Māori children of their identity
108572 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Social issues

How closed adoption robbed Māori children of their…

by Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

Te Aniwa Hurihanganui looks at the outdated Adoption Act and its impact on Māori who grew up desperate to reconnect.

Read more
The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh removal
108377 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh remova…

by Ruth Nichol

Women with complications caused by deeply embedded vaginal mesh are being helped by a pioneering surgical technique.

Read more
A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can teach us
108544 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can…

by Fergus Riley

North Auckland farmer Fergus Riley has uncovered many important lessons in caring for his father Peter, who has Alzheimer’s.

Read more