Property (Relationships) Act 1976

Reprint as at 15 July 2014

Property (Relationships) Act 1976

Public Act1976 No 166
Date of assent14 December 1976
Commencementsee section 1(2)
  • Act name: amended, on 1 February 2002, by section 5(2) of the Property (Relationships) Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 5).


Note

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


Contents

Title [Repealed]

1 Short Title and commencement

Part 1
Outline of this Act

1A Purpose of this Part

1B Status of this Part

1C What this Act is about

1D How this Act is arranged

1E Part 2 (Preliminary provisions)

1F Part 3 (Application of this Act)

1G Part 4 (Division of relationship property)

1H Part 5 (Relationship property and creditors)

1I Part 6 (Contracting out)

1J Part 7 (Proceedings under this Act)

1K Part 8 (Division of property where one spouse or partner dies)

1L Part 9 (Transitional provisions and savings)

Part 2
Preliminary provisions

Purpose and principles

1M Purpose of this Act

1N Principles

Interpretation

2 Interpretation

2A Meaning of marriage

2AB Meaning of civil union

2B Marriage includes immediately preceding de facto relationship

2BAA Civil union includes immediately preceding de facto relationship

2BA Immediately preceding marriage or civil union

2C Meaning of de facto partner

2D Meaning of de facto relationship

2E Meaning of relationship of short duration

Dates at which shares and values determined

2F Date at which shares to be determined

2G Date at which value of property to be determined

Determination of use to which property put

2H Determination of use to which property put

Application

3 Act to bind Crown

4 Act a code

4A Other enactments to be read subject to this Act

4B Law relating to trustees preserved

4C Application to existing and future de facto relationships

4D Application to de facto relationships that end on separation or death

5 Act to apply only during joint lifetime of spouses [Repealed]

6 Maori land not affected

7 Application to movable or immovable property

7A Application where spouses or partners agree

Nature of relationship property and separate property

8 Relationship property defined

9 Separate property defined

9A When separate property becomes relationship property

10 Property acquired by succession or by survivorship or as a beneficiary under a trust or by gift

Part 3
Application of this Act

10A Application of Act to division of relationship property where both spouses or partners alive

10B Application of Act to division of relationship property on death of spouse or partner

10C Application of Act in other circumstances

10D Proceedings

Part 4
Division of relationship property

Division of relationship property: general

11 Division of relationship property

11A Where family home sold

11B Compensation for absence of interest in family home

Homesteads

12 Homesteads

12A Valuation of homestead

Exception to equal sharing

13 Exception to equal sharing

Relationships of short duration

14 Marriages of short duration

14AA Civil unions of short duration

14A De facto relationships of short duration

Court may make orders to redress economic disparities

15 Court may award lump sum payments or order transfer of property

15A Orders where spouse or partner has contributed to increase in value of separate property

Other provisions relating to division of relationship property

16 Adjustment when each spouse or partner owned home at date relationship began

17 Sustenance of separate property

17A Diminution of separate property

18 Contributions of spouses or partners

18A Effect of misconduct of spouses or partners

18B Compensation for contributions made after separation

18C Compensation for dissipation of relationship property after separation

Part 5
Relationship property and creditors

19 Effect of Act while property is undivided

20 Interpretation

20A Rights of creditors preserved

20B Protected interest in family home

20C Payment of protected interest on bankruptcy of other spouse or partner

20D Calculation of net value of relationship property

20E Compensation for satisfaction of personal debts

20F Application of Joint Family Homes Act 1964

Part 6
Contracting out

When persons can contract out

21 Spouses or partners may contract out of this Act

21A Spouses or partners may settle differences by agreement

21B Surviving spouse or partner and personal representative may agree on division of property

21C Court may be asked to approve agreement between surviving spouse or partner and personal representative

Subject matter of agreement

21D Subject matter of agreement

Model forms of agreement

21E Regulations prescribing model forms of agreement

Procedural requirements

21F Agreement void unless complies with certain requirements

21G Other grounds of invalidity not affected

21H Court may give effect to agreement in certain circumstances

Agreements by minors

21I Agreements entered into by minors

Court may set agreement aside

21J Court may set agreement aside if would cause serious injustice

Miscellaneous provisions

21K Agreements made for valuable consideration

21L Enforcement of agreements

21M Consequences of invalidity of agreement

21N Other powers and capacities not affected

21O Application of Act to relationship property not subject to agreement

Agreements made before 1 August 2001

21P Agreements made before 1 August 2001 between de facto partners

21Q Agreements made before 1 August 2001 between spouses relating to division of property on death

21R Agreements to have effect as if Act not passed

21S Agreements made under previous section 21 before 1 August 2001

Agreements made between 1 August 2001 and 31 January 2002, where marriage or de facto relationship ends before 1 February 2002

21T Agreements made under this Part before 1 February 2002, where marriage or de facto relationship ends before that date

Part 7
Proceedings under this Act

General

22 Jurisdiction

23 Who can apply

24 Time limits for making applications

25 When court may make orders

Orders for benefit of children of marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship

26 Orders for benefit of children of marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship

Postponement of sharing

26A Postponement of sharing

Occupation orders, tenancy orders, and furniture orders

27 Occupation orders

28 Orders with respect to tenancy

28A Factors affecting occupation orders and orders with respect to tenancy

28B Ancillary furniture order

28C Furniture required to equip another household

28D Effect of furniture orders

Hire purchase agreements

29 Orders when property subject to hire purchase agreement

Insurance policies

30 Orders in relation to insurance policies

Superannuation scheme entitlements

31 Orders in relation to superannuation rights

Orders relating to maintenance and child support

32 Orders relating to maintenance and child support

Ancillary powers

33 Ancillary powers of court

34 Discretion of court as to orders

Miscellaneous provisions

35 Attendance at hearings

35A Publication of reports of proceedings

36 Evidence [Repealed]

37 Persons entitled to be heard

37A Court may appoint lawyer for children

38 Inquiries, and settlement of schemes

Transfer of proceedings

38A Transfer of proceedings to High Court

Appeals

39 Right of appeal to High Court

39A Procedure on appeal to High Court [Repealed]

39B Appeals to Court of Appeal

Costs

40 Costs

Registration of orders

41 Registration of orders

Protection of spouses' or partners' rights

42 Notice of interest against title

43 Dispositions may be restrained

44 Dispositions may be set aside

Orders relating to trusts

44A Application of sections 44B and 44C

44B Court may require party to disclose information about dispositions of property to trust

44C Compensation for property disposed of to trust

Orders relating to companies

44D Definition of qualifying company

44E Court may require party to disclose information about dispositions of property to qualifying company

44F Compensation for property disposed of to qualifying company

Family chattels not to be disposed of while proceedings pending

45 Family chattels not to be disposed of

Protection of creditors

46 Protection of mortgagee

47 Agreements to defeat creditors void

Further miscellaneous provisions

48 Incidence of orders against personal representative of spouse [Repealed]

49 Legal capacity of married women

50 No restraints upon anticipation

51 Proceedings in tort

52 Minors may apply without guardian ad litem

52A Priority of claims where marriage or civil union and de facto relationship

52B Priority of claims where 2 de facto relationships

53 Rules of court and regulations

53A Power to prescribe specified sum

54 Exemption from stamp duty [Repealed]

Part 8
Division of property where one spouse or partner dies

Application of this Part

55 Application of this Part

56 Application to existing and future wills

57 Application under Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 or Family Protection Act 1955 not precluded

Death of spouse or partner

Insolvent deceased spouse or partner

58 Rights of creditors preserved

59 Payment of protected interest where estate insolvent

Proceedings commenced while both spouses or partners alive

60 Incidence of orders against personal representative of spouse or partner

Surviving spouse or partner may choose between division under this Act and taking under will or intestacy

61 Surviving spouse or partner may choose option

62 Time limit for making choice

63 Surviving spouse or partner may not commence proceedings before making election

64 Position of surviving spouse or civil union partner if separation order made or marriage or civil union dissolved

65 How choice to be made

66 Choice of option to be notified to certain persons

67 Choice irrevocable

68 Effect of failure to make choice

69 Chosen option may be set aside

70 Choice may not be set aside if estate finally distributed

Distribution of estates

71 Distribution of estate before choice made

72 Distribution of estate after choice made but before proceedings commenced

73 Distribution of estate while proceedings pending

74 Distribution of estate not to be disturbed

Effect of choice of division under this Act (option A)

75 Effect on application of Act of choice of division under this Act

76 Effect on will or intestacy of choice of division under this Act

77 Court may permit surviving spouse or partner to take under will or on intestacy

78 Priority of entitlement of surviving spouse or partner

Sections modifying or affecting earlier sections in proceedings commenced after death of spouse or partner

79 Date at which shares determined

80 Classification of property

81 Presumption that property of deceased spouse or partner is relationship property

82 Presumption that property acquired by estate of deceased spouse or partner is relationship property

83 Relationship property defined

84 Separate property defined

85 Marriages, civil unions, and de facto relationships of short duration

86 Compensation for actions after separation or death

87 Surviving spouse or partner may challenge agreement

88 Who can apply

89 Time for commencement of proceedings

90 Time limits for commencing proceedings

91 Qualifications on application of sections 25 to 34 and 43 to 44F

92 Persons entitled to be heard

93 Appeals

94 Incidence of orders against personal representative of spouse or partner

Effect of choice of will or intestacy (option B)

95 Effect on application of Act of choice of will or intestacy

Part 9
Transitional provisions and savings

Transitional provisions

96 Transitional provisions applying on and from 1 February 1977

97 Transitional provisions applying on and from 1 February 2002

97A Transitional provisions applying in respect of section 2BAA

Savings

98 Savings applying on and from 1 February 1977

99 Savings applying on and from 1 February 2002

Schedule 1
Notice of claim of interest under Matrimonial Property Act

[Repealed]

Schedule 2
Consequential amendments

[Repealed]

Schedule 3
Enactments repealed

[Repealed]

Property (Relationships) Amendment Act 2013

Reprint notes


Title  [Repealed]

  • Title: repealed, on 1 February 2002, by section 4 of the Property (Relationships) Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 5).