In a recent Wellington Family Court case, an applicant wife obtained an order for a 70:30 split in her favour of all relationship property.

When the parties met they were both 28 years old and working at the same hospital. The wife was a registered nurse and the husband a registrar.  They married and separated after 28 years of marriage, having had two children. The husband had gone on to become a specialist surgeon earning approximately $1 million per annum.  The wife did not work during the majority of the marriage, instead raising the children, running the household and following her husband as he progressed his career around the world.  Following their separation, the wife obtained a job earning $30,000.00 per annum.

The 70% award was made on the basis that, following the parties separation, the husband’s income and living standards were significantly higher than his wife’s and the reason for that was as a result of the division of functions within their relationship.  Because the wife was able to establish these grounds, she was compensated for the disparity with a greater than 50% share of the total relationship property pool.  This type of compensation is awarded for “economic disparity”.

While this decision is under appeal, it is a good example of the type of case that the economic disparity claim was designed for.

If you would like further information on economic disparity or any other relationship property matters, contact us on 04 473 6850.

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.