Both National and Labour appear to be in agreement in supporting a law change that would scrap the two year wait time in between separation and dissolution of marriage where domestic violence has occurred.

Currently New Zealand law requires spouses to be separated for two years before they can apply to cancel the marriage certificate, a process commonly known as divorce. 

All five current political parties appear to support the proposed law change which means that the Bill can enter Parliament without being randomly pulled from the ballot.  The proposed change hopes to remove the two year requirement for victims of domestic violence to apply for a divorce.  This would apply in situations where there is violence and the perpetrator receives either a conviction or a final protection order made against them. 

Many people who have suffered from domestic violence end up suffering from further psychological abuse when waiting to be legally divorced from their spouse.  This law change, if passed, will limit the power and control of a perpetrator towards their victim, in the case of married couples or couples in a civil union.

Rainey Collins will continue to monitor the tracking of this Bill through Parliament and provide updates.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Shaun Cousins


Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.