Those who wish to file for divorce in New Zealand should know about the hefty cost of filing fees, which include $211.5 just for the application.
Lawyers in Wellington charge different rates when taking on a case. It’s better to have legal counsel when you plan to dissolve your marriage, especially if you disagree on your spouse’s demands.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Kiwis can only file for divorce after two years of being separated from each other. This could be a way of providing people with some time to think and be away from their partners, without resorting to a dissolution of marriage.
If you have children and joint ownership of properties, then a separate agreement would make it formal. The deal would involve shared custody of your kids and how to manage your assets. The document can also serve as proof that you have been separated for the required time before seeking a divorce.
The two-year waiting time could also be one reason for a lower divorce rate in the country, according to Statistics New Zealand. In 2017, there were 8.4 divorces per 1,000 marriages compared to 12.8 per 1,000 in 2003.
However, the marriage rate fell at the same time. Stats NZ said the general marriage rate has been on a downward trend in the last four decades. More Kiwis likely want to avoid the cost of a marriage, and ultimately a divorce if things go south. Based on the 2013 Census, unmarried couples who live together increased to more than 409,000 from more than 236,000 in 1996.
You should hire a lawyer preferably before you file for divorce since having legal counsel helps you in getting the best possible settlement. Since you need to be separated for two years, you can save money for legal fees while you wait for your eligibility.