Tracey Wills v Robert Catsburg [2016] NZFC 851

Published 31 July 2016

Economic disparity, occupation rent, Property (Relationships) Act 1976, ss 11, 15, 13, 18B The parties had been in a de facto relationship for 2 years before a marriage of over 17 years. The Judge ordered division of all relationship property equally in accordance with s 11 of the Act. The respondent contested equal division, arguing economic disparity under s 15 due to the parties’ earning potential and roles in the relationship, and that equal division would be repugnant to justice under s 13. The Judge rejected both arguments finding the respondent had made a lifestyle decision not to work although capable, and there were no extraordinary circumstances justifying a s 13 exception to the general rule of equal division set out in s 11. Having determined the scope of the relationship property, and of occupational rent and compensation for work done, the Judge divided the relationship property equally between the parties.