Surprise! I'm a single parent


Divorce – makes my head spin (slowly)
August 6, 2008, 3:37 am
Filed under: economy

Divorce in New Zealand takes at least two years. This is an excessively long time so my advice to anyone thinking seriously about leaving their partner is to get on and do it. You really can’t procrastinate or think things will get better. It took me about 6 years to decide to leave and it was kind of insulting to find the law adds another 2 on for good measure.

I suppose they want you to be really really sure – perhaps they don’t want people getting divorced and then getting remarried? But surely weddings are good for the economy? Unlike investment properties which supposedly stagnate domestic turnover, weddings provide employment and expenditure. And marriages are investment in hope, well being and family. So why drag the chain? And what about biological clocks? If I met someone who wanted anotehr child I’d have no choice but to sprog first and nuptual later which – though really I don’t mind – seems a bit unfortunate for those who do.

In my case however it doesn’t matter whether Im not married or not because the glacial speed of my financial decoupling is the main thing I fret over.  

Recently I applied to a bank for a loan. Well, permission to borrow should I get into the happy position that we are financially seperate enough that I need my own mortgage. And here’s when bureacracy became entangled like a mobius strip of logic. For a few days there, it seemed the bank needed assurance I had no shared debt with my ex-partner before they could lend me swag loads of money to be out of mutual debt with my ex-partner. It was perhaps fortuitous I had another 13 months to go on my marriage to work this one out. 

Kiwibank suggested that a seperation agreement was the magic ingredient to loosen the bureacratic knot. Hmmmm well I have friends who have spent thousands on lawyers trying to get one of those sorted and I wasn’t going to start paying one if I had to. What was the essential information they were going to glean from this paper I said? This was a good question and with a  bit of email activity we agreed that a co-signed letter about our intentions around the mortgage and future ownership of the house was all that was required. No lawyer needed. Phew because – and its another mobius strip moment – I can’t afford a lawyer to help me get divorced until Im divorced.




2 Comments so far
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  1.    BeeNZ 07.07.13 @ 1:21 am      

    From what I’ve read, a shared, signed agreement isn’t always legally binding even if witnessed by others. The only legally binding agreement is one witnessed by by a soliciter :P

  2.    wordmonger 07.07.13 @ 3:53 pm      

    Absolutely! I hope I’ve made this clear. However setting out your terms togetehr in advance before getting legal sign off is cheaper than having them facilitate that.



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