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I’m married in Brazil but I live overseas. Getting a divorce…

Customer Question
I’m married in Brazil...

I’m married in Brazil but I live overseas. Getting a divorce and my husband have all assets held in trusts. Can I still make a claim?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a Brazilian lawyer about this?

No I haven’t sorry

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I don’t know if I file for divorce here in New Zealand or in Brazil where we married

Lawyer's Assistant: The Lawyer will be able to walk you through that. Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The trust was set up 5 years before we got together. Then everything he buys go to trust. We lived together from 2010

Submitted: 10 days ago.Category: New Zealand Law
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
7/11/2018
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 days ago
Chris The Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23,773
Experience: 38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 days ago

If you live in New Zealand you can file for dissolution of marriage here. But the New Zealand family court does not have the power to divide property which is outside New Zealand, and you would need to make an application to a Brazilian court. It is very easy to get a dissolution of marriage in New Zealand because the only ground is that you have separated for more than years.

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Customer reply replied 10 days ago
We own no assets in Brazil. All assets are here in NZ including our holiday home, family honor and business.
I’m just worried that I have just discovered that everything is under a trust and my husband is the only beneficiary of the trust
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 days ago

If the property is in New Zealand you can make a claim under the Property Relationships Act if you have contributed to the property during the course of the marriage. Sometimes people sign a contracting out agreement which may affect any claim. But even if the assets are all held in trust, you can make a claim under the act for a share in the increase in value. It is not always an easy claim, but there have been a number of recent cases where people have been able to undertake "trust busting" to make a claim against family trusts successfully

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Customer reply replied 10 days ago
Even if he buys assets after and transfer to the trust when we already together.
Example: he purchased a home in 2012 where we live and a 50% share of his business all under the trust. And all cars and assets also all under trust. The only purpose of the trust was to hide relationship property.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 days ago

If he bought assets while you were together and transferred these to a trust, then you can make a claim because the effect of the transfer as to avoid the effect of the Property Relationships Act, and there is specific provision to make such a claim under the act

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