It was originally reported by media outlets that, as a result of a jealous week of post-separation fueled destruction, a German man has posted photos and videos online of many items (of what in New Zealand would be called ‘relationship property’) cut in perfect half: with one half sent to his ex-partner and the other being listed on an online trading site.  A TV, laptop, iPhone, teddy bear, couch, bicycle, and even a car, fell victim to the man’s precision project …

The story has since been outed as an elaborate marketing ploy by a German website … nevertheless we thought it might be interesting to consider how such a separation scenario might play out in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, such behaviour would not bode well for the man when it came to the formal division of the couple’s relationship property.

The general rule is that all relationship property is divisible 50/50 between the couple (here taken very literally by our protagonist).  However, where there is deliberate dissipation of relationship property by one party following separation, and that materially diminishes the value of that possession, the responsible party can be required to compensate the other party for the loss suffered.

The result if this case had played out in New Zealand could be that the man would be required to pay his ex-partner half of the value of all of the items cut in two (on top of the literal ‘half share’ she had already received!).


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.