5 Pointers in Selecting a North Shore Divorce Lawyer

Alissa Bell

Alissa Bell

The process of divorce can take a lot of toll on people so you need a good divorce lawyer to help you through the process. Divorce is usually hard on all of the family, especially children. No matter the reason for the divorce, you have to find a good lawyer to help you sort all the issues that arise during the divorce. With a good lawyer, they will explain your rights and obligations under New Zealand separation law which is designed to be fair to both parties but people often try to force an unfair settlement. A good divorce lawyer will ensure this does not happen to you. Below are some pointers to help you find the right lawyer to help you.

Count On Your Friends And Family

With the escalating divorce rates today, there is a high chance that one of your friends and family has gone through the process. You need to ask them how they handled the divorce, if they have any advice or a divorce lawyer they can recommend. Though you may want to keep your affairs private, it is important to count on your friends and family. They will mostly provide you with honest and accurate information because they want the best for you.

Realise Your Needs From A Lawyer

You should first decide on how you want the divorce to be handled before you chose a lawyer. This will help you pick a lawyer who will cater all your needs. The divorce can be a mutual divorce or a one-sided divorce. You should also know your preference when it comes to a lawyer. You want a lawyer you feel comfortable with and understands you.

Do Some Research About North Shore Divorce Lawyers

It is a good idea to some research before you choose a lawyer. There are many different places you can get information on lawyers, including lawyer directories. Make a list of lawyers that stand out. Once you have a final list, find a way to narrow it down until you remain with the best to handle your case. You will then meet the lawyer and see if you are okay working with him or her.

Have a Budget

The rates will differ from one lawyer to another. It is important to know what you are working with when choosing a lawyer. There is no need to choose a lawyer and later realize you cannot afford the fees they charge. Ask yourself what you need from the divorce and how the lawyer can help you. It is important to have more than one on your list to give you a chance to compare and choose the one you think can help you get what you are looking for with the budget you have set.

Ask Your Lawyer Questions About Your Divorce

Many firms provide free initial consultations, and you must take full advantage of them. Before the session, make a list of questions you are going to ask. Remember there are no stupid questions to ask. You will get a good feel for the potential lawyer from the way they respond to your questions. From there you can make a better decision about selecting a good North Shore divorce lawyer.

McVeagh Fleming is a North Shore law firm in Albany with a number of specialist separation and divorce lawyers. You can get more details from their website.

Young Couple Arguing - photostock

Young Couple Arguing – photostock

We live in a society where separation and ultimately divorce seems to be as natural as marriage. In every relationship there are bound to be ups and downs but it is important to weigh-up your options seriously before rushing into a separation. This post will shed some light but its not legal advice.

But it’s not just marriages since de-facto relationships and Civil Unions are subject to the same laws in New Zealand. A separation can be extremely stressful time both during and after the formal ending of the relationship so it is wise to look at other options first before taking those final steps.

A separation has specific legal implications in a number of aspects but in layman’s terms, it simply means that your formal relationship has ended. The modern-day term for a divorce in New Zealand is the dissolution of a relationship. To bring this about the two people need to have lived apart for two years. At that point one of them can apply to the Family Court to dissolve their relationship.

Unlike many other countries where courts decide or a divorce lawyer negotiates the allocation of assets and ongoing financial support for children, that is not the case in New Zealand. These issues are clearly stated in the legislation.

Care of the children

If there are any children involved in the marriage, child custody and access need to be agreed. In strict legal terms, custody is known as day-to-day care and often the children live most of the time with one parent, typically the mother. But this is not always the case.

For example, the parents may agree on a different care regime such as a 50/50 arrangement with the children spending equal amounts of time with both parents.Scales of Justice

The second aspect regarding children is access or more formally, contact, and again this can be by mutual agreement.

However, if the parents cannot agree about either day-to-day care or appropriate times for contact with the children, then the Family Court will make the decision for them.

Child support

In times gone by, often the mother bore the financial burden of child-rearing on her own but these days the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the children should make a financial contribution. The parents can negotiate an arrangement if they wish but the amount of child support is set out by the IRD and is determined by the parent’s income.

On the topic of regular financial payments, in New Zealand, unlike other countries, one party is not expected to pay ongoing maintenance for the other party after the dissolution of their relationship.

Joint assets or relationship property

Often the most contentious aspect of a break-up is who claims to own various assets. However, the law in NZ says that there is an equal ownership and therefore allocation of joint property gained during the time of the relationship. While that seems clear, the emotions of both parties can still get in the way of reaching agreement. It is this aspect where couples need to seek legal advice.

The lawyer’s role in separation

There are a number of ways a lawyer can help with your separation. They have practical experience and training just for this purpose. However, one area that you definitely need to consult a family lawyer is about the relationship property.

Even though the law says that there will be an equal distribution of jointly-owned assets, sometimes one partner will try to force the other into a different arrangement. Further, there needs to be a formal legal document prepared by a divorce lawyer which clearly describes the specific allocation of resources. Without this document, there can be no allocation and therefore future ownership of any joint assets.

Even though both parties might reach agreement between themselves about who will own a particular asset, this will inevitably require legal work. For example, a house needs to have the ownership details changed on the Title and mortgage deeds. This can get complicated if there are multiple properties and assets involved such as a rental property therefore you are strongly advised to seek legal advice as soon as possible regarding the break-up and separation of a relationship.