Relationship property


Changes ahead in relationship property laws

The Law Commission has proposed some significant changes to the way relationship property is dealt with by separating couples.

Since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 was enacted and with major changes in 2002, the structure of families has changed considerably. New legislation needs to take this into account.

After a three-year review, the Commission’s key recommendations include:

  • Changing how the family home is shared after a relationship breakdown
  • Giving a court greater powers to divide property held by a trust
  • Introducing Family Income Sharing Arrangements (FISA) to help offset differences in income and earning potential between partners, and
  • Giving children’s interests more priority in relationship property matters.

It is early days yet as the proposed legislation is still to be drafted. We will keep you informed as this progresses.

Proposed reform for incorporated societies legislation

The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 is set to change in the not-too-distant future. Following the Law Commission’s recommendations in 2013, earlier this year a Cabinet paper confirmed that the legislation relating to incorporated societies will be completely overhauled. The new legislation is not expected to be politically controversial.

All incorporated societies should consider getting up to speed with the anticipated changes. If you intend altering your constitution in the near future, consider delaying that process until the new legislation and requirements are confirmed. Any incorporated society that must review its constitution before the reforms are passed into law should incorporate the anticipated changes into their new constitution.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2020. Please stay safe this summer, watch the road, keep out of the sun and, if you’re on the water, read Jonty Mills’ column on page 3 for some water-wise safety tips.

Meri Kirihimete me te Hape Nū la.

DISCLAIMER: All the information published in Fineprint is true and accurate to the best of the authors’ knowledge. It should not be a substitute for legal advice. No liability is assumed by the authors or publisher for losses suffered by any person or organisation relying directly or indirectly on this article. Views expressed are those of individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the view of this firm. Articles appearing in Fineprint may be reproduced with prior approval from the editor and credit given to the source.  Copyright, NZ LAW Limited, 2019. Editor: Adrienne Olsen. E-mail: Ph: 029 286 3650 or 04 496 5513.