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Under New Zealand law a marriage (or civil union) cannot be dissolved unless you have been separated from your spouse for two or more years. Once you have been separated for this period, you may apply to the Family Court for your marriage (or civil union) to be dissolved. You will need to file an affidavit to support your application. You only need to appear before a Judge if your spouse chooses to defend your application.
The Family Court generally does not like including the playing of such calls as evidence, and such evidence may not be admitted in Court.
There is a danger that such recordings can become obsessive and hinder the normal conversation in activities between the parties. It is somewhat artificial in that the party recording the conversation knows of such existence, and the party that is being recorded has no such knowledge normally.
It is often easier in the case of emails and text messages to have these items as evidence. In such cases, it is much easier to obtain the transcript of entire conversations and exchanges to see the context that they have been held in. However, in the situation of a single phone call this may not truly reflect the complete situation of the parties.
I would be cautious and generally not encourage a client to record phone calls or to use such phone calls into evidence.
The Ministry of Justice does not specify who is required to pay the filing fee. However, generally the Applicant is responsible for meeting these costs as it is their application that the Court is determining. Clients in receipt of legal aid can apply to the Ministry of Justice for these costs to be waived.
Generally the mother and father are joint guardians of the child; parents are often referred to as ‘natural guardians’.
However, although the mother is an automatic guardian, the father is only a guardian if:
No. The law does not specify how much time children should spend with each parent and there is no rule as to 50/50 sharing of custody.
The welfare and best interests of the child are the paramount consideration when deciding on custody arrangements.
Some common joint custody arrangements are:
A joint custody arrangement is not always in your child’s best interests and there are a number of options available. A shared care arrangement need not consist of a substantially equal timesplit, it may be that one parent has the children on the weekends or every second weekend.
If one person moves out of a home that is jointly owned in a relationship, are they still responsible to pay for half of the household bills like the mortgage, power, insurance after they leave?
There are three issues to address here:
1. Partner with no children in the home
Normally the partner may be expected to pay their own expenses in the family home. This depends on their income compared to the partner moving out and other issues. Is there a mortgage on the home? How long is this occupation going to be for?
2. Partner with children still in the family home
This is normally an exception to point one above. If you have children in the home under 16, then the Family Court will most likely be more lenient in the event that you or your partner are not contributing toward those expenses as the person who moves out must find another residence.
However, if your case is one where spousal maintenance will be ordered, contributing toward those expenses can be considered part of that and can avoid or reduce any alleged expenses in the future. Find a specialist lawyer as soon as possible to discuss.
The first is the obligation to your creditors, and the second is the obligation for you or your partner to continue paying the bills.
You are equally liable in the eyes of the creditors for the bills to be paid, unless you are able to transfer things like the utilities out of your name. Obviously, if your partner does not make these payments and you are still technically liable, your credit will be harmed. Talk to your bank.
Bastion Chambers is located on Level 3 of the Shortland Chambers building.
Jeremy can also see clients at his remote office in Point Chevalier by arrangement.
Jeremy is available to meet via Zoom if you are outside of Auckland.
My husband and I recently used Jeremy to help with a custody issue from a previous relationship. Jeremy was great to work with, highly skilled and professional, and achieved our desired outcome. Communication was great, especially as we live overseas and had a difficult time difference to work around. Jeremy and his team were fantastic and we highly recommend.
Having a complicated relationship come to an end, I had initially used another law company to undertake my settlement. Unfortunately, this company let me down on many aspects. After spending a considerable amount of money and almost 12 months of back and forth litigation, I had gotten nowhere close to a resolution. I found Jeremy Sutton online and did my due diligence. After engaging with him, I felt much more confident that a solution could be met promptly. Communication was great, and I knew where we were at every stage of the matter. Unlike the first company I used, Jeremy was easily reachable and gave me the clear options I had available. His focus was more on a settlement than litigation, which is what I wanted.
A settlement was reached and I was able to move on with life. Overall a great experience on something that is far from a pleasant situation. I highly recommend using Jeremy Sutton.
Jeremy is an experienced ‘down to earth’ lawyer. He has empathy to your situation and understands your wants and needs. He gives good solid advice with no BS. He drills right down to the issues that mater most. He is easily contactable and always has the end result in sight, even in some cases it can take months to achieve.
Jeremy Sutton is both bright and sympathetic – in other words he gets what is needed and is mindful of the clients needs and considerations. He is a pleasure to work with – his approach is refreshingly quick, positive, and the advice clear and helpful – if only all professionals were like that !
I had the pleasure of interviewing him on the radio and he was impressively open, fast with his ideas and incredibly helpful – any using his professional skills will be blessed with the association – he brings confidence to an otherwise “difficult time!”
Jeremy and his team have been wonderful, professional and always available to answer any queries. Jeremy is trustworthy, caring and very knowledgeable; no doubt the best in his field! His approach is always honest, clear and in your best interest. Highly recommend Jeremy and his lovely team.
I am going through the legalities of separation now. Some of the process has been tricky and has been made longer by the actions of the other party. I feel totally supported working with Jeremy. Jeremy assesses people and situations skillfully, providing expert knowledge and advice in a straightforward way.
I found Jeremy Sutton excellent to work with to support and conclude a complicated separation process I had been working through. Jeremy provided pragmatic and informed advice, was very proactive and always available. Jeremy explained options very carefully and for me a lot of the stress associated with the wider separation was removed knowing I had such good support. Jeremy was respectful of the wider context throughout. I would have no hesitation in recommending Jeremy’s services.
A partner of 17yrs decided to end our relationship wanting 50% of assets accumulated by my late wife and I over a period of 30 years married, mainly our family free hold home.
Jeremy and his team were able to get a more realistic settlement with in the terms of the law, saving the family home and other valuable assets.
The relationship law can be extremely unfair and is in need of urgent review.
I am a professional colleague of Jeremy and have talked to him on a number of occasions about family law issues. I have found him knowledgeable and helpful in sharing his experience. From reading his publications I would have no hesitation about recommending him for family law advice
Jeremy Sutton is wonderful to work with, he is not only an incredibly competent, sharp and helpful individual but he has the ability to really see the person before him. I have had only positive experiences with him.
As a lawyer, I’ve worked with Jeremy on relationship property matters and have always appreciated his pragmatic and honest approach to advising clients, based on his considerable experience. And even when we don’t have matters together, being able to pick up the phone and sound out a problem with Jeremy has been invaluable.
Jeremy has being excellent to work with and have provided accurate and professional advise , along with being supportive during a very difficult period . If you are experiencing an acuminous relationship property division , I recommend Jeremy and his team
I have attended a few of Jeremy’s seminars. He is succinct and he gives very useful tips of the trade. He is also very generous with his time answering post seminar questions.
I interviewed Jeremy for a news article. The information he gave me was clear, concise, and on point – he really knows his stuff. I’ll definitely be back in touch next time I need more info on finances and divorce!
Jeremy and his team are wonderful to work with. Jeremy himself is patient, kind, prompt in his responses, and clearly very knowledgeable.
My recent dealings with Jeremy regarding client referrals for marriage separation.
I found Jeremy to be very professional, with years of expertise in family law.
Jeremy’s approach has always been honest and practical advice together with clear and direct communication – all in a timely manner.
He is kind, reassuring and compassionate whilst achieving the best outcomes for clients.
I highly recommend Jeremy as your divorce barrister.
Jeremy provided me with valuable and practical insights with recommendations for my marriage separation… he made this stressful process looks easy. Highly recommended.
I know Jeremy through professional development organizations and know him to to passionate and diligent about providing ot just excellent legal services, but also about providing an excellent client experience as they navigate through a difficult and often painful personal difficulties.
Let me be another to sing Jeremy’s praises but he is as good as everyone says. Jeremy was recommended to me by my solicitor, as I needed legal help with the financial separation of my 30 year marriage, through Mediation. I felt absolutely supported by Jeremy and his team, every step of the way, either in person, via email or a phone call when required. Tissues and water were always on hand, when required!
Sam is a Chartered Accountant and works with Jeremy with valuation and Section 15 Economic Disparity reports for relationship property purposes. Jeremy is fantastic to work with and I have been impressed with his negotiation skills at mediation. Jeremy concentrates on a limited number of key clients and he is there for them when it counts.
I am impressed with Jeremy’s great personality and professional skills. He is a such easy to work with . Much grateful to have him on my case.
Jeremy is great to deal with, he is very professional and responds very quickly to queries and provides comprehensive support and guidance.
Brilliant family lawyer. Invaluable advice and support through a tough process. Highly recommended
From start to finish Jeremy and his team have been a pleasure to deal with. A wealth of knowledge whilst providing professional and impeccable service Jeremy is someone you can trust. He’s efficient, empathetic and honest and really does care about the outcome of you and your family. Definitely the person you want to have on your team in what is often a traumatic and stressful time. I can’t recommend him highly enough.
Thank you Jeremy!
I found Jeremy to be very professional and he had great knowledge. Jeremy contacted me within 24 hours of contact. Great service and I would have no hesitation in recommending him.
I completed the Resolution Institute Mediators training and accreditation with Jeremy during 2019 and subsequently have formed a collegial relationship to support each other in our work. Jeremy’s commitment and care towards his clients and those he works work is admirable. He is always up for a challenge and generously shares of his knowledge.
Jeremy and his team were able to respond urgently when I found myself suddenly dealing with complex international matters relating to children and was always easily contactable when needed. He has a wide breadth and depth of experience in family law matters and is able to offer practical advice to clients who are often dealing with a very stressful experience within their lives. I would recommend that you consider Jeremy should you require advice regarding family law matters.
Jeremy Sutton is a colleague of mine. A skilled advocate, he has tailored his practice to the needs of those with complex matters. I am very familiar with Jeremy through our professional interactions and he is always innovative and demonstrates careful attention for every client.
Outstanding lawyer. Forward thinker. Innovative business person. Met thru legal business development. I would be talking to Jeremy first if I needed divorce services.
Jeremy is a colleague of mine with a fabulous website that you should really check out! You’ll find it has lots of valuable and timely information.
Jeremy answered my emails the day I sent them and was keen to help me find a lawyer specialising in the area related to my case.