Settlement Agreements are a legal agreement under section 21A of the Property (Relationships) Act. Once a relationship has ended, parties to a de facto relationship have three years to resolve their property rights while those who were married have one year after formally ending their marriage through a divorce.
Jennifer Perry is a Family Law specialist who provides expert legal advice in divorce and separation agreements, relationship property and care and custody of children.
About Divorce and Separation Settlement Agreements
Settlement agreements for separation or divorce are for the most part created out of court by agreement achieved through mediation and in consultation with lawyers, this is when it is particularly important to have a lawyer who is trained and experienced in both negotiation and has represented clients in court. A settlement may be entered into any time before a final hearing when court proceedings are under way.
Any settlement agreement will not be enforceable unless it meets certain requirements under the Property Relationships Act. The key requirements are that it is in writing, signed by the parties, their signatures are each witnessed by a separate solicitor and that those lawyers have provided advice as to the effect and implications of the agreement.
The lawyers must have advised their clients what they are getting under the settlement agreement and how this differs from what they would likely receive were they to go to court to resolve their differences.
Property which can be included in a divorce or separation agreement might include:
- Houses, baches, and holiday homes
- Investments, shares, cash, and interests under Trusts
- Jewellery and artworks
- Business interests (Jennifer worked for several years in commercial law)
- Cars, vehicles, and boats
- Real estate (but not foreign real estate)
- Animals (including pets)
Looking for a lawyer to help with divorce settlement or relationship settlement agreement? Contact Jennifer
Sometimes a negotiated outcome is not possible or appropriate. Jennifer has extensive court experience and can represent you through the court process.
Jennifer Perry is a Family Law specialist lawyer and Barrister. Jennifer is a member of both the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society and of Collaborative Advocacy, Collaborative law gives families a dispute resolution process that aims to minimise conflict and stress that is inherent in any separation, and helps them to take control of decisions about their future.