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Thread: Gold Diggers

  1. #1
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    Question Gold Diggers

    Say someone is unattached and wealthy. They own a house worth $1 million and have another $1 million in the bank.

    If anyone moves in with them, they can walk away owning half the house and half the money after just two years.

    Is this true?

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about.

    Marriage? Flatsharing?

    Daniela

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
    Say someone is unattached and wealthy. They own a house worth $1 million and have another $1 million in the bank.

    If anyone moves in with them, they can walk away owning half the house and half the money after just two years.

    Is this true?
    Not "anyone" can have that type of claim you either have to be married or in a de facto relationship, for a minimum of THREE years.

    http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/division-o...idp392064.html

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info Beachcombers. I'm uncomfortable with a law that entitles anyone to half of someone else's assets after three years of a relationship. It looks like a gold digger's charter. I wonder how many innocents have lost half their assets in this way to people who moved in with them just for the money?
    Last edited by Sherlock Holmes; 23rd April 2013 at 07:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    That's why most NZers with property/money set up family Trusts for protection of their assets :-)

  6. #6
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    That's because you are seeing it from the point of view of someone who holds wealth and assets. The law protects people who enter into a relationship and find themselves victims when their spouses/partners leave them, often saddled with debts, and if with children, without support or maintenance. Imagine if your partner is the one who is the breadwinner of the family, hold all the wealth and income and pretty much decided one day to walk out on you, your children without so much as a conscience because you are not in a civil union or married. Well what a pickle you'd be in. This ensures people don't get away from their obligations.

    If you feel uncomfortable, you can set this out in a legal agreement - usually it is a trust but a legal document which is set up similar to a pre-nup should also do.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by batgirl1001 View Post
    That's because you are seeing it from the point of view of someone who holds wealth and assets. The law protects people who enter into a relationship and find themselves victims when their spouses/partners leave them, often saddled with debts, and if with children, without support or maintenance. Imagine if your partner is the one who is the breadwinner of the family, hold all the wealth and income and pretty much decided one day to walk out on you, your children without so much as a conscience because you are not in a civil union or married. Well what a pickle you'd be in. This ensures people don't get away from their obligations.

    If you feel uncomfortable, you can set this out in a legal agreement - usually it is a trust but a legal document which is set up similar to a pre-nup should also do.
    The law protected children anyway. It seems a shame to spoil a relationship by drawing up your separation plan before you form a household, but if you have any assets worth protecting, you'd be mad not to now. It's the only protection available against manipulative people who try to exploit the new law.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
    Thanks for the info Beachcombers. I'm uncomfortable with a law that entitles anyone to half of someone else's assets after three years of a relationship. It looks like a gold digger's charter. I wonder how many innocents have lost half their assets in this way to people who moved in with them just for the money?
    You have completely the wrong idea about the 'gold digger's charter'. A 'gold digging' partner won't automatically be given half their former partner's assets.

    As batgirl1001said, the law was made for cases where Partner A (traditionally a man) was the breadwinner while Partner B (traditionally a woman) stayed home to raise children. Partner A earned all the money, but they were only free to work because Partner B looked after the home and children. The law values both contributions to the family's assets. The assets to be divided are 'family property'. Some things aren't automatically family property, such as an inheritance.

    In the scenario you have given, the assets existed before the 'gold digger'. 'Gold digger' hasn't contributed to them, so would not be entitled to half of them. However the court does have some discretion. A simple solution for the house is to put it in a family trust the new partner isn't a beneficiary of. This is extremely common in New Zealand and very easy.

  9. #9
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    Three years, not two, of a relationship in the nature of marriage. And it wouldn't include the money necessarily, just the house...not that that is a small thing. The money could be spent on things that are or become relationship property such as clothing, furniture, car and thereby form part of the relationship property, but if it was kept separate it would remain with the original owner.

    Get legal advice about this sort of thing and organise a Relationship Property Agreement well before the three year mark. It is also a good reason to have the house in a trust. And the money, for that matter.

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