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Family law

Dividing your property when you split up (“Relationship property”)

Applying to the Family Court for a Relationship Property Order

How much does it cost to apply for a Relationship Property Order?

Family Courts Fees Regulations 2009, regs 5B, 7, Schedule 3

There is a fee of $700 for filing any relationship property application with the Family Court. If your case goes to a Family Court hearing in front of a judge, you will also have to pay an additional fee of $906 for each half-day (three hours) or part half-day (up to three hours). If either party chooses to use a lawyer, they will also have to pay their lawyer’s fees.

If you’re unable to pay the fee, you can apply to have it cancelled in your case (this is called a fee “waiver”). You’ll need to show that you’re dependent on a benefit or completely dependent on New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension, or that you’d suffer “undue financial hardship” if you had to pay the fee.

Time limit for applying under the Act

Property (Relationships) Act 1976, s 24

There is a time limit for applications for orders under the Property (Relationships) Act:

  • For a marriage or civil union, you must apply within one year after it is dissolved. See Divorce: Getting a “Dissolution” Order
  • For a de facto relationship, you must apply within three years after the relationship ends.

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Relationships and break-ups

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Births, Death & Marriages (Department of Internal Affairs)


This website has information about marriages and civil unions. On this site you can also apply online for a marriage licence or download the application forms.

Family Court


This Family Court webpage provides a range of information relevant to adult relationships, including information on separation, dissolution, relationship property and the court processes that apply in those areas. You can access pamphlets online, as well as Family Court forms such as Dissolution of Marriage Application packs.

Family Court fee waiver forms

Family Court fee waiver (or refund) forms are available here:


New Zealand Law Society



  • Living together
  • Dividing up relationship property
  • What happens to your children when you part?
  • What happens when your relationship breaks up?

You can access pamphlets online or order hard copies from the New Zealand Law Society.

Phone: (04) 472 7837

Email: pamphlets@lawsociety.org.nz

Work and Income


Relationships often have a significant impact on personal finances. For information on how your changing relationship status might affect what benefits you are entitled to, contact Work and Income.

Phone: 0800 559 009

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