Relationship Property Agreements

If your marriage, civil union or de facto relationship comes to an end by way of separation or death, you may be affected by the Property (Relationships) Act.

 While it may seem unromantic or pessimistic to discuss at the start of a relationship how property should be divided if you break up, anyone who enters into a new relationship should give the Property (Relationships) Act careful consideration.

The Property (Relationships) Act presumes that each partner makes an equal contribution to a relationship, even if that may be in different ways, and purports to make a just division (generally equal) of relationship property should the relationship come to an end. It applies to those who have been in a relationship described above for a minimum of three years.

However, a couple can come to their own agreement and make their own arrangements as to how they will divide their relationship property. This document is a Relationship Property Agreement also known as a Section 21 Agreement or Contracting Out Agreement. A Relationship Property Agreement can define a division of assets that you and your partner both agree upon. Preparing a Relationship Property Agreement essentially means you “contract out” of all, or part of the provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act.

 Any agreement must be in writing, and meet various legal requirements, including that each party obtains independent legal advice. You can prepare an agreement before you begin the relationship, during, or even when you are separating. Obtaining legal advice early on in the relationship will often save time, money and may reduce conflict.

At Dawsons we’ve made it simple and cost-effective for you to create your own Relationship Property Agreement through our online services. For a limited time you can prepare your own agreement through our website for only $380 incl. GST. Legal advice in respect of the agreement will be additional.

Alternatively, we are always available for advice if you would like to make an appointment to see us instead or you can give us a call on 09 272 0002.