Jazz Shelton v Charlie Watkins [2016] NZFC 2165

Published 31 July 2016

Division of relationship property — Property (Relationships) Act 1976, ss 8(1)(e), 18C — formal proof hearing. Division of relationship property occurred by way of formal proof hearing, following the respondent’s failure to take steps or attend proceedings. Assets implicated in the proceedings included multiple properties and chattels, vehicles, a company and two trusts. Section 8(1)(e) defines as “relationship property” (subject to ss 9(2) to (6), 9A, and 10), “all property acquired by either spouse or partner after their marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship began”. As the parties had been living together for two decades, company shares, properties, vehicles and personal bank accounts were relationship property pursuant to this provision and divided accordingly. During the course of the hearing, the Judge was made aware of statements made by the respondent to the applicant to the effect that neither she, nor the children, would gain access to the respondent’s money. Further information was to be filed before it could be determined how best to deal with a trust which, in the Judge’s opinion, had been used by the respondent for the purpose of defeating the applicant’s entitlements. Further submissions were also sought for the applicant’s claims under s 18C and regarding rental payments. **Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.