Applying for a Dissolution of Marriage
There are two ways to apply for a dissolution – a joint or single application. A joint application can be made if both spouses agree, otherwise a single application is required.
You are eligible to apply for a dissolution if one of you lives in New Zealand and you have been separated for 2 years or more.
Where both parties are not living in New Zealand, a dissolution application cannot be made unless one party is “domiciled” in New Zealand. A person is classified as being “domiciled” in New Zealand if:
a. They were born in New Zealand a have not made a home in another country with the intention of living in that country indefinitely, or
b. They were born overseas but have made a home in New Zealand with the intention of living here indefinitely.
If you would like assistance with obtaining a dissolution of marriage, please contact one of our family lawyers 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.
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