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Hi there, I have just been married for nearing two years now.

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The wedding took place in...
Hi there, I have just been married for nearing two years now. The wedding took place in Sydney. I have a property prior to my marriage and my wife has not contributed anything towards it? If we do separate, will she have a say on my property?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: New Zealand Law
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Answered in 6 hours by:
6/14/2010
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Chris The Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23,854
Experience: 38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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The test for the presumption of equal sharing is a marriage of 3 years. However this would not prevent her making a claim if this preporty was used a family property. If it was kept as separate property then it may be outside of relationship property. If you have never lived there together to stayed there, and if you havent used any income from the property for joint purposes this would help. Best of all would be if you had entered a property agreement prior to the marriage.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hi there, thanks for your response. Wanted to clarify a couple of aspects.

The house that we live in belongs to me at the moment. I pay the mortgage, rates and insurance payment. My parents also live with us. They have been with me since I purchased the house. The contribution towards the house has been my my parents and me. Does she still have a claim ?

I am also looking to build a house at the back section.

How can I completely protect myself.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
If she has lived with you then she may have a claim although not to half. If the property has always been accepted as separate then this diminishes. The best way would be to get her to sign a property agreement and get this properly witnessed. This would provide excellent protection but she may not agree. You do not say if you have separated or not so I do not know how she would react to being asked to sign. Her claim if she makes one would be to a share of the equity in the property. If your parents have a share in the property then diminishes the equity which she can claim, so it may also be useful to clarify if your parents own a share.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
We haven't separated at the moment. However, things have been very bad between us and I have been very stressed out. I would like to protect myself in everyway since I have worked hard for what I have. My parents had assisted me with the house deposit and they have certainly helped with ocassional renovations.

Is shifting the property into a Trust any better? Also, if I chnaged the ownership of the property to my parents, myself and sister would that make a difference?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Drawing up an agreement as to the ownership which records the position as between all the family would be a good idea, especially if it records the date you entered into the arrangement-I assume the date your parents paid the deposit.
What about some marriage counselling-you can contact the local Family Court to find a counsellor. As part of the counselling you could gently introduce the need for a property agreement.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Great, so you can assist with the agreement .... do you also specialise in Trusts
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
I could help with these, on my normal terms of engagement. I am in Wellington, and you can contact me [email protected]
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks Chris, I am considering doing a Trust. I feel the "agreement" approach could aggravate things.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Let me know what you need and I can put this together fairly quickly.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks mate. How much do you charge For a setup of Trust?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
The usu cost for something like this would be about $3000 plus GST and disbursements-Landonline fees and bank consent fees. This would involve the drafting of the deed, transfer to trustees, liaison with your mortgagee and other attendances.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks Chris. I'll give this a good think and will come back to you when and if I decide to progress this. Really appreciate it.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Glad to help
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