Auckland Family Lawyers You Can Trust

David J Brown and Associates are trusted, knowledgeable family lawyers in Auckland, with decades of experience in handling family law cases of all types. For some of the best family court lawyers Auckland has to offer, talk to the team at David J Brown & Associates today

Family related legal issues can be difficult to resolve, and can be the cause of arguments and frustration when several parties with differing opinions are involved. We provide expertise in Auckland family law are usually emotionally charged, complex, and difficult to resolve.

When it comes to family law, it is crucial that we take all factors into account so that we can determine the best course of action to take.

Whether you are looking for a solution to division of property or parenting of children, our team are here to help.

Our Auckland based family lawyers are always willing to listen to your concerns, treating you with the professionalism and courtesy that you deserve. We use a straightforward approach and take the time to answer any questions that you may have. We try to make your experience with us as stress-free as possible.

Warm, friendly and sensitive to your needs, you can trust that our Auckland family lawyers will assist you through every step of the way.

As experienced Family Lawyers, David J Brown & Associates can help to smooth out the friction and ensure the best solution is achieved within a safe, legal environment. We will draw on our collective experience as family lawyers in Auckland so we can help achieve the most favourable outcome for you.

Whether it’s dissolution of relationships, relationship property settlements, or prenuptial agreements, we can handle family law matters for you.

Friendly Family Lawyers in Auckland

At David J Brown and Associates, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a service that they can rely on. Over the years, we have gained a reputation for being an approachable, professional practice that finds real solutions for our clients.

Our lawyers are all familiar faces in the community, and know how to put themselves in your shoes — our personable approach and dedication to our clients set us apart from other law firms. For more information or if you need representation, call our team today.

Contracting out Agreements

It is possible and very desirable to protect assets that were owned prior to a new relationship commencing.

Agreements of this nature used to be called “Prenuptial Agreements” (“Prenup”) at the time when it was usual to protect assets when people were about to marry.

Now one document – a “Contracting Out Agreement” – is used for either marriage or de facto relationship situations.

If you own a home which is to become the “family home” for you and your spouse-to-be or partner-to-be you should protect that property as your asset with a Contracting out Agreement. This is on the basis that the asset has not been acquired with any contributions from the other person.

As with all Agreements under the Property Relationships Act 1976 when the Agreement is to be signed each person needs to have separate and independent advice from an independent lawyer.

Contracting out agreements – protecting assets of yours prior to a new relationship

Equal Splitting Agreements

These are used in the course of a relationship or marriage to enable the transfer of property from one person to two people.

In the past entering into a Property Relationships Act (Equal Splitting) Agreement was a suitable way under the Property Relationships Act to avoid gift duty. Gift duty no longer applies. However execution of such an Agreement is still a good way of dealing with the matter.

As with all Agreements under the Property Relationships Act 1976 on signing the Agreement each party must have separate and independent advice – but this is nearly always in these circumstances straightforward, easy, and relatively cheap.

Equal Splitting Agreements – to enable transfer of property from one person to two people – Things to Consider

Separation

The end of a marriage is almost always a very difficult time for those involved. In fact, it is known that marriage break up is one of the most stressful situations to be involved in. We will take care of the legal matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will provide structure and solutions to get the best result we can for you. Book an appointment to discuss your needs.

Separation – Matters for you to Consider for first appointment with us

Matrimonial Property

“Matrimonial Property” was the title given to property in issue between people separating under the Matrimonial Property Act 1976. The expression and the legislation was effectively replaced by the Property Relationships Act 1976 which came into force on 1 February 2002.

Relationship Property

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 outlines the rules pertaining to the division of property between spouses (including de facto couples). However, when disagreements arise over property distribution, it is wise to ensure you have the right legal advice and help at hand. Let our family law experience in relationship property work for you to get the best solution.

When you phone to make an appointment with regard to these matters we will advise you as to the particular items of information that we need to “set the scene” to give us enough information to take your instructions properly and give you advice.

Relationship Property – Matters for you to Consider for first appointment with us

Child Custody / Parenting Issues

We can help with the day to day care arrangements of your child or children that need to be decided because of separation or divorce, or if the current arrangements are not satisfactory.

We can also assist with situations where a new partner, grandparents or other caregiver need to apply for guardianship of a child.

There are “tried and true” guidelines applicable to these matters which we are familiar with and can help you to “put your best foot forward” to obtain the best result for you and your child or children.

The Family Court system has been quite significantly altered in the last few years. The Ministry of Justice approach now is to endeavour to keep lawyers out of the “proceedings” part of the process to an extent. We are still able to assist at the beginning and also when the matter gets nearer to a hearing. Greater emphasis is being put on mediation and the like.

A new system is in place with regard to Family Legal Aid that reflects these changes etc.

In situations where the matter involves Court proceedings, if we are not able to assist with particular aspects of that part of the process then we will refer you to an appropriate Family Court barrister who works with us to get the best result for our clients.

As before you should get advice as soon as possible.

Loans or Gifts

As with “Property and Family Arrangements” (see elsewhere) it is necessary to be careful with regard to advances made by one family member to another.

In the past because of gift duty it has been essential to have the right documentation so that the person making the advance does not incur gift duty.

Gift duty was abolished on 1 October 2011. That has had an impact on the way in which people now need to look at debts owed and ability to forgive the debt. It is not necessarily as simple as saying “I will simply extinguish the debt.

There are consequences in that to the person who as “donor/lender” extinguishes the debt. This applies in particular to the ability to potentially claim residential care subsidies in the future.

It can be necessary or desirable to have an independent lawyer for each party so that each has independent legal advice.

We can guide you through the process as easily and effectively as possible.

Dissolution of Marriage

In New Zealand there has now for a long time been just one ground for dissolving a marriage (formerly called “divorce”) – namely, two years apart.

Lawyers have traditionally been involved in assisting people to end their marriage after they have been apart the necessary period of time.

It is however possible to approach the local Family Court to do most of the steps yourself. There is a filing fee payable on an application of a Dissolution of Marriage.

It is possible to make an application yourself (“unilaterally”) or together with your “ex” (“joint” application). An application and affidavits and documents are necessary to be filed.

We can help with any part of the process, even if it is just service on the other party etc.

Property and Family Arrangements

It is not uncommon for there to be arrangements within a family or between friends with regard to property.

In those circumstances it is sometimes necessary for the different parties to have independent lawyers and independent legal advice.

We can assist to “drive the process” so that you are able to put your proposals in as sensible and reasonable a way as possible and for us to prepare the appropriate documents for you to give effect to your intentions.

Obviously we will give advice to you with regard to the necessary documentation which might well include deeds or documents.

Gift duty was abolished on 1 October 2011. That has had an impact on the way in which people now need to look at debts owed and ability to forgive the debt. It is not necessarily as simple as saying “I will simply extinguish the debt.

There are consequences in that to the person who as “donor/lender” extinguishes the debt. This applies in particular to the ability to potentially claim residential care subsidies in the future.