RelationshipIf you are married, in a civil union, or have been in a de facto relationship for three or more years, the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 will apply to you.

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 is the statute which classifies the assets owned by partners in a relationship. It also governs the way these assets are to be divided between partners when their relationship ends by separation or death.

The Act provides for partners to agree that they want to contract out of some provisions of the Act. If you wish to do this then you need a lawyer to draft a Contracting Out Agreement (otherwise known as a “pre-nup”).

We can advise you, and guide you through the difficult process of establishing how you and your partner wish your property to be divided in the event of separation or death. We are experienced in drafting Contracting Out Agreements and reviewing agreements prepared by other lawyers.


Whether you need a contracting out agreement, assistance with property settlement at the end of your relationship, or advice on relationship law, we can help. Call us now on 09 379 5828 or email us at lawclerk@rainey.co.nz


Relationship Property FAQs

What is the Property (Relationships) Act 1976?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 is the statute which classifies the assets owned by partners in a relationship. It also governs the way these assets are to be divided between partners when their relationship ends by separation or death.

What is a ‘pre-nup’?

A ‘pre-nup’ is a term which is commonly used to describe an Agreement to Contract out of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.

Do we need a lawyer if we wish to Contract out of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976?

Yes. Both partners need independent and separate legal advice. The Agreement will not be valid unless it is witnessed by each partner’s lawyer and contains certification from these lawyers that they have explained the effect and implications of the Agreement and the Act.

I have been given a Relationship Property Agreement which has been prepared by my partner’s lawyer. Do I have to sign it?

You are not obliged to sign the Agreement. You should take it to a lawyer who will review it after they have talked to you about the assets you and your partner have and the value of those assets. The lawyer will advise you what you would be entitled to under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 but for the agreement and make sure you are fully informed before you make a decision.