Coverage of the Property (Relationships) Act

lawyer making couple sign divorce papersThe failure of a relationship is often painful. Emotions can run high. A reasonable discussion may not be easy when it comes to dividing properties. You may need a property lawyer in Wellington to help you. The lawyer may refer to The Property (Relationships) Act to advise you on what you should get.

However, your relationship should qualify under the Act to apply. Here are the types of relationships that the Act covers.

Three-year rule

If you have been together with the same person for a minimum of three years, you can have an equal share in some properties. These include the home you shared, cars, appliances, and furniture. You do not have to be married to fall under the Act’s coverage. People in a civil union or a de facto relationship will also qualify.

A couple in a de facto relationship lives together in a domestic arrangement without formalising it with the civil authorities. You both need to be at least 18 years old. You can be of the same or opposite sex.

Recognised couples

People who have been married or in a civil union for less than three years also fall under the rules of the act. However, it may not be equal sharing. In some cases, the division of the property may be according to how much each partner put into the relationship. There are no hard and fast rules in these cases. It is up to your lawyer to present your case so that you get a fair share of the property.

De facto couples

The Act does not usually cover a couple in a de facto relationship for less than three years, except in rare cases. You can simply agree on how you should do it. If that is not working for you, you can use other property rules to divide the properties.

You do not need a property lawyer if you and your partner can agree on how to divide properties when a relationship ends. But this is not usually the case. You need a lawyer to help you get your fair share of the property you own together.