Marital Agreements and Private Autonomy in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the property consequences of relationship breakdown are regulated by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, a code that imposes a default property-sharing regime on married spouses, civil union partners and de factor partners. The main purpose of this chapter is to discuss the key elements of marital agreements (often referred to as ‘contracting out agreements’) as provided for in Part 6 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. Contracting out agreements provide a means whereby couples may ‘opt out’ of the default regime. The author also considers the history of the laws bearing on relationship breakdown to illustrate how far New Zealand has moved away from the discretionary approach that has been preferred in England.
Editor: Scherpe, J
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Keywords: Property law; Legal relationships; New Zealand; England
Research Type: Chapter in Book