Holland v Dollard [2020] NZFC 2051

Published 06 October 2020

Relationship property division — application for extension of time — unequal division — extraordinary circumstances — post-separation contributions — child care — child support — Oranga Tamariki intervention — family violence — family home — chattels — de facto relationship — relationship duration — misconduct of spouse — alcoholism — Property (Relationships) Act 1976, ss 1M, 2D, 11, 13, 18A, 18B, 24 & 32 — Care of Children Act 2004, s 132 — Child Support Act 1980 — Domestic Violence Act 1995 — F v F (Family Court, North Shore, FAM-2003-044-1895, 13 September 2004 — Miller v Carey [2015] NZHC 887 — Castle v Castle [1977] 2 NZLR 97 — Martin v Martin [1979] 1 NZLR 97 — Joseph v Johansen 10 FRNZ 302 — Browne v Starke [2016] NZFC 7132 — Greaves v Baldwin [2019] NZHC 3390 — J v J (2005) 25 FRNZ 1 (CA) — E v W (2006) 26 FRNZ 38 — IAT v SJG [2013] NZHC 2976 — JA v SNA [Economic disparity] [2008] NZFLR 297 — KBH v LJD FC Gisborne FAM-2004-016-140, 21 December 2005 — Tarr v Tarr [2014] NZHC 1450 — Hammond v Hardy [2007] NZFLR 910 (HC). The applicant sought division of the parties' relationship property. The respondent made no submissions and did not appear at the hearing. The parties' relationship began in 1987; the applicant claimed it had ended in 2009 and made an application for an extension of time to make an application. The Property (Relationships) Act (the PRA) requires a person in a de facto relationship to make an application within three years of end of the relationship. However, upon examining the evidence supplied by the applicant, the Judge found that the relationship did not end until 2017, making the application for extension of time unnecessary. The 2017 date was when the respondent finally moved out of the family home, after Oranga Tamariki made it clear that the youngest children would be removed from the home if he did not leave. The respondent had issues with alcoholism and was violent towards the applicant, to the extent that a final protection order had been put in place. The applicant sought unequal division of the relationship property as the respondent had made no contributions to the family home, mortgage, rates or raising the children since 2009. The PRA requires there to be extraordinary circumstances for unequal division to be appropriate. The Judge considered this case met that threshold. The applicant's efforts and hardship suffered in maintaining the home and raising many children on her own in the face of the respondent's abuse was an extraordinary circumstance. The relationship property was to be divided 65:35 in the applicant's favour. The applicant was also to be awarded $60,000 as compensation for her raising the children by herself. Given this award under the PRA, the Judge declined to also make an order for child support under the Child Support Act. The applicant was entitled to costs. Judgment Date: 18 May 2020.