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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22303
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I inherited my fathers property 10 years ago. Around 9 years

Customer Question

Hi there,
I inherited my fathers property 10 years ago.
Around 9 years ago I started a de-facto relationship and my partner moved in with my son and I.
This ex partner is now wanting to claim half the value of the property.
Is there any way that I can fight this?
Thanks.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Once your partner moves in with you, after you have been together for more than three years the Property Relationships Act gives him an entitlement to a half share of property. Unfortunately therefore he does have a claim to half of the property, and you would have a half share claim in any relationship property which he has, which would include things like his cars, tools of trade and Kiwisaver. Even if the property was always in your name, the only way in which you can exclude the operation of the act, is to have a contracting out agreement. I would suspect from your question that you do not have an agreement.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He inherited $100, 000 during our relationship and has spent it all. Do I have any claims to that?
He spent around $10,000 to pay my bills and has said he would like me to pay him $20,000 instead of half of the property.
Is there a way that I can make a private agreement to do that, but ensure that that is all I will have to pay him?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Once the money has been spent you cannot make a claim to it any longer. But if he is content with a payment of $20,000, you can enter into a binding relationship property agreement, which would settle all claims for payment of that money. To make an agreement binding each of you needs to get independent legal advice. But once this has been done and the agreement signed and witnessed by the lawyers, that is an end of his claims.

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