Relationship Property Law Services

Relationship property is complex and involves consideration of a number of legal responsibilities and rights.

The team at Klinkert Law provides a comprehensive legal service that draws on many years of practical experience dealing with a diverse range of property all around New Zealand.

Helen Davidson and Anja Klinkert have 30 plus years of practical experience in representing clients and working in the area of family law and property law.

Our clients have the advantage of working directly with Anja Klinkert and Helen Davidson who draw on that practical experience & knowledge when advising clients on all aspects of their relationship property.

We draw up property sharing agreements / contracting out agreements / pre-nuptial agreements / relationship property agreements at the beginning of a relationship and separation agreements at the end of the relationship.

Relationship property division can be complex, and clients benefit from the approach taken at Klinkert Law, where we work to advise and support clients and their family to be put back in the driver’s seat of their life.

Helen Davidson and Anja Klinkert advise clients on asset protection and testamentary implications.

Anja Klinkert and Helen Davidson both represent clients in the Family Court and in the High Court. There is a strong focus in the approach taken by Klinkert Law to advise and support clients to make their own decisions and not defer to a Judge unless it is absolutely necessary, for example when the other relationship partner does not provide disclosure or divests themselves of relationship property, or no compromise is reachable.

Anja Klinkert works as a collaborative professional whereby parties to a dispute agree to try and resolve their dispute by way of a collaborative process utilizing their legal advisors in an out of Court process with face to face meetings, there being no letters or affidavits exchanged between lawyers. The process involves putting a team together that then jointly works towards a common goal of achieving an acceptable settlement. The team may consist of a jointly appointed accountant and valuer, counsellor or manager. Anja Klinkert is a trained member of the Collaborative Lawyers Association, i.e. Collaborative Advocacy New Zealand (CANZ).

Helen Davidson and Anja Klinkert have long established relationships and work with banks, mortgage brokers, valuers, accountants, real estate agents and of course other professionals, including lawyers and mediators.

Klinkert Law acts for clients who work and/ or reside overseas. Our practice and workhours are flexible to accommodate telephone, SuiteBox, skype, zoom meetings to facilitate client engagement and work satisfaction.

Anja Klinkert provides online dispute resolution and certification services utilising SuiteBox. The client is assisted to sign documents online and Anja Klinkert can witness and certify via SuiteBox, which provides an audio-visual recording of the transaction. We collaborate with CODR in providing advice and certification online for clients wishing to retain the autonomy to draft their own property agreements.

Anja Klinkert works as an accredited mediator and mediates relationship property disputes and family relationship property disputes that arise on death. She welcomes referrals and provides a flexible service to accommodate among others, time, place and mode of communication.

Options for resolving your dispute

Informal, consensual process

Outcome decided by You

You retain control over the process and outcome

Formal, determinative process

Outcome decided by You

You have little or no control over the process or outcome

Click for details:

Unassisted negotiation

Some separated couples can sort out everything themselves and may not need much assistance.

Many couples can do this themselves. If relationship property needs to be divided, you must both have independent legal advice before signing a written Settlement Agreement.

Have a look at the CODR website https://codr.co.nz/ if this appeals to You.

Can be relatively low-cost option.

Lawyer led negotiation

The traditional process, where lawyers write letters / e-mails back and forth until agreement is reached. Focus is usually on legal rights under the law and what a Court might decide.

Can often get out of hand, increasingly formal letters / e-mails are sent about small matters that could be resolved in moments if You could both be in the same room.

Often appears at first to be a low-cost option, but costs can escalate quickly if You or Your ex-partner is stuck or if Your ex-partner (or their lawyer) doesn’t understand an aspect of the settlement proposal.

Collaborative process

Both You and Your ex-partner and the lawyers commit to resolving the issues through face to face meetings and with a focus on Your needs and interests and not on Your rights and positions.

No letters or e-mails are exchanged, meaning limited opportunity for misunderstanding. Issues that might take 4 letters / e-mails can be resolved in minutes when they are discussed in a meeting face to face with supports.

Cost comparable to lawyer-led negotiation and likely to be cheaper if matters can be resolved in one or two meetings. Ideally the lawyers are trained collaborative lawyers and You all come together face to face or at least online via video-conference call.

Mediation

An independent third party (the mediator) facilitates settlement discussions between You and Your ex-partner. Focus is on needs and interests rather than rights and positions.

The mediator has no authority to decide the dispute or impose Agreement / Settlement upon You.

Commonly used in NZ to resolve disputes involving the care of children. The Government funds this and it is called “Family Dispute Resolution” (FDR).

Ideally the mediator is accredited and knows about relationship property law in order to best utilise Your lawyers to finalise any Agreement. In NZ, FDR is free for low-income parents and heavily subsidised for all others so is an extremely cost-effective process for resolving parenting disputes.

Arbitration

Arbitration involves an independent third-party who acts as the arbitrator / decision maker of Your dispute. You and Your ex-partner agree to the arbitration process and timelines and agree to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision.

Arbitration is less frequently used in family disputes in NZ but may be a viable option in higher-value relationship property disputes.

Have a look at the FDR Centre website https://www.fdrc.co.nz/ if this appeals to You.

Can be expensive but may be more cost effective than litigation in high-value relationship property disputes. Will be quicker than litigation.

Litigation

This is going to Court where You are asking the Judge to ultimately decide the outcome of Your dispute.

This may be the only option in cases where there are urgent issues of domestic violence or children’s safety, or if You are unable to agree for some reason.

Expensive unless You are eligible for legal aid. Legal aid is very likely to have to be re-paid in any property case.

Very slow process; can take years to resolve an issue. Tends to push You further apart and may irreparably damage relationships.

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