Personal relationships and their breakdown can lead to some of life’s most difficult and distressing changes. At such times, competence and compassion are essential in your legal advisors. We are acutely aware of the emotional distress and challenges experienced on or following a relationship breakdown and separation.
About Our Family Law Services
Our highly regarded family law team has a vast degree of experience and ability in all areas of family law. As a full service law firm, we can also advise on and finalise all aspects of the process including relationship property settlements, transfer of property, redistribution of trust assets, estate planning, preparation of wills and any other issues that may arise.
Our family law team is headed by Michael Robinson, who has over 25 years experience in family law and relationship property matters. He has assisted many hundreds of clients to navigate the process of separation and resolve their issues. Michael’s approach is to ensure that clients avoid unnecessary conflict and acrimony whilst achieving the very best possible result. His area of particular expertise and experience involves assisting clients engaged in complex relationship property disputes involving trusts, trans-border property, valuations of business and investments and claims involving economic disparity.
Senior Solicitor, Sharon Chandra, has numerous years of specialist experience in family law. Her particular areas of expertise include relationship property, spousal maintenance, parenting matters and disputes involving relocation and removal of children.
We find that in many cases, clients would simply like to meet with either Michael or Sharon to discuss their current position (whether they have recently separated or are contemplating separation) and gain a better understanding of their entitlements, rights and the options available. Michael and Sharon are happy to offer an initial consultation either in person at our office in Takapuna or by way of video conference/Skype.
While we do not offer legal aid, we pride ourselves on offering our clients the most cost effective service possible. In certain circumstances and where adequate security is available, we are also able to arrange for litigation funding for the purpose of resolving relationship property disputes.
To arrange for a consultation with either Michael or Sharon, please click the button below:
Frequently Asked Questions
In New Zealand you must be separated from your spouse (or civil union partner) for a period of two years before you can apply to have your marriage (or civil union) dissolved. Once that time period has expired the parties are free to apply to the Family Court for an order dissolving their marriage.
An application to the Family Court is required and one party must be domiciled in New Zealand at the time the application is made. The application may be made by either one party on their own or by both parties jointly. The latter is generally more cost effective and will be processed more quickly by the Court. There is a filing fee payable at the time the application is made.
The Domestic Violence Act defines "domestic violence" as including physical, sexual or psychological abuse or violence. The current legislation has a "zero-tolerance" policy towards such acts. If you are or have been in a domestic relationship and your partner has been violent towards you then we can assist you with an application to the Family Court for a protection order.
An application to adopt a child, whether the child was born in New Zealand or overseas, is made under the Adoption Act. Different processes are followed according to where the child was born. In New Zealand adoptions are overseen by Child Youth and Family who must approve the adoption and who match parents who wish to adopt with an available child. They should be your first point of reference. Adopting a child from overseas can be an extremely complex process. We recommend that you contact ICANZ which is a non-profit organisation providing support to New Zealand families and children from overseas orphanages.
Given that adoption involves the legal substitution of a child's existing parents with new parents this is not always the best solution. We can advise on what other solutions, including guardianship, may work best for you and the child.
Sometimes people lose capacity to make decisions about their welfare or managing their property and need others to make these decisions for them. Unless Enduring Powers of Attorney have been made while the person requiring assistance (the subject person) has capacity an application under the Protection of Personal Property Rights Act to the Family Court will be necessary.
You will likely need help with the application, help with understanding what your ongoing commitments will be and how the process works. The Court requires specific information to be provided to it before it will consider an application. This will need to be presented in an affidavit and medical evidence as to the subject person's incapacity will be required.
The Court will appoint a lawyer to represent the interests of the subject person and the person appointed by the Court to act as welfare guardian and/or property manager will have ongoing reporting obligations to the Court.
“After i spoke to Sharon, she made me feel like i had a legitimate case and her sternness made me feel comfortable in knowing that she can get the job done.”
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.”
“Joy, we cannot thank you enough for your help with our purchase! You have been wonderful to deal with and so proactive (and patient with my numerous emails). We will be visiting NZ in April so will make sure we drop in to thank you in person.”
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)”