Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Relationship Property

Anyone who is married, in a civil union, or de facto relationship will be affected by the Property (Relationships) Act once one of the parties dies or the relationship ends by separation.

Dealing with Relationship Property matters on top of a stressful and what is an emotionally-charged time can be a daunting prospect. However with practical, straight-forward legal advice from the expert team at Saunders & Co these matters can be resolved effectively and efficiently, usually without the need to enter the courtroom.

Our specialist team has significant experience and expertise in matters around separation and divorce, relationship property and protection of assets, with our network of valuers on hand to ensure just division.

We are also experts in the preparation of contracting out agreements (pre-nuptial agreements) for clients intending to marry or cohabitate. These agreements are an increasingly popular form of relationship insurance to protect parties’ existing assets such as the family home and chattels, life insurance, superannuation, inheritances and gifts, businesses, income, and bank accounts.

You can make agreements about the status, ownership and division of relationship property at any time during your relationship. Please feel free to call one of our relationship property specialists.

External links to further information

New Zealand Law Society publications:

Get further advice from

Angelique Kinsman

Lawyer

Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0314
Mobile: +64 021 214 6273
E-mail: Angelique.Kinsman@saunders.co.nz
Office: CBD

I am a Lawyer in the Litigation team specialising in family law which includes completing Care of Children applications, family violence applications and handling relationship property matters. I am also experienced in traffic related offences including applying for work licences. My role includes providing logical and realistic advice to my clients and I approach this with empathy and transparency.

I graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in 2017. Prior to Saunders & Co I have worked in general practice firms. I joined Saunders & Co in 2019 where I have enjoyed being part of a modern and progressive work environment with a real sense of belonging and collegiality.

The fast-pace nature of practising Family Law is what I thrive on. I enjoy interacting with clients and building a rapport so that they gain trust in me to problem-solve and achieve successful outcomes. I relish advocating in the Court room and prosper from the challenges that comes with litigation.

I am an approved family legal aid provider.   I am also an active member of the Canterbury Lawyers’ Choir.

I specialise in the following areas:


What My Clients Say

“It was one appointment only. The fee was open and transparent and it resulted in safety for myself and my child. I felt valued and respected and never judged.”

 

“Angelique my lawyer was the best in this very stressful time for me.”

Anna Kissick

Associate

Direct dial: +64-3-963 1461
Mobile: 027 464 3315
E-mail: anna.kissick@saunders.co.nz
Office: CBD

I joined Saunders & Co in 2016 and was made an Associate in 2018. I specialise in matters relating to family law and relationship property, including litigation. I also handle criminal matters such as traffic offences and limited licences.

Family law and relationship property cases often present challenging and emotional situations. I take a compassionate approach while being firmly focused on delivering a practical, workable resolution. This process may include giving useful advice and describing the process step-by-step to my clients.

My varied role encompasses contracting-out agreements, relationship property agreements and any litigation involved with these matters outside the Family Court. I also work on care of children and domestic violence cases which usually involves defending or applying for protection orders inside the Family Court.  Adoptions are another area of my expertise.

I enjoy face-to-face contact with my clients and gain a lot of satisfaction from resolving situations.  I also enjoys the litigation aspect of my work and how it challenges me.

I specialise in the following areas:

Nicola Coombes

Partner

Phone: +64 3 940 2435
E-mail: nicola.coombes@saunders.co.nz
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined Saunders & Co in 2012 soon after my arrival from the UK and became a partner in 2017. I enjoy leading the Ferrymead office with its broad, general practice and family-focused culture. Clients benefit from the smaller office environment and although most matters are handled within the Ferrymead office, additional expertise from the firm’s corporate office can be accessed if required.

Property and commercial matters make up a large part of my portfolio, which could include anything from the sale and purchase of homes, commercial buildings and businesses, to leasing, and refinancing. I also assist clients with personal asset planning, trusts, wills and estates, and continue to handle a smaller amount of insurance and earthquake-related work.

I am genuine in my approach and aim to provide prompt efficient service and pragmatic advice, focused on clearly explaining every step of the process.

Building strong links to local communities in the east of the city and the seaside suburbs is important to me, with the Ferrymead office assisting a number of community groups and trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I am writing to acknowledge the superior service we were afforded by Nicola and her team at Saunders & Co Ferrymead. Having worked with and against a number of lawyers in my career, it was a delight to finally find a team who knew their business, executed it with diligence and aplomb while never losing their sense of humor or the human touch. We were singularly impressed with Nicola’s knowledge, experience and compassion. Never once did we suffer condescension, were we treated as numpties or made to feel we were wasting a professional’s time. Nothing was too much trouble and our angst and anxiety were met with concern and genuine understanding. This is an associate, backed by a team, in which Saunders & Co can have confidence and pride..”
Robert Nimmo Christchurch

Sarah Bee

Partner

Direct dial: +64-3-966 7704
Mobile: 027 366 6090
E-mail: sarah.bee@saunders.co.nz
Office: CBD

I joined Saunders & Co in 2013 and was made a partner of the firm in 2018.

Working in general practice with smaller firms in Wellington has provided me with experience and expertise in a wide range of legal disciplines for private clients, such as family law including relationship property and property law with a special interest in trusts and estates.

I take an avid interest in my clients and tailor my approach to their needs. I am known for being pragmatic and direct, asking the right questions to get to the heart of a matter as quickly as possible. This is especially pertinent when dealing with family relationship matters, trusts or enduring powers of attorney. My aim is for an effective and expedient resolution for my clients.

Relationship property is a particular area of interest for me.  I assist with contracting-out agreements (pre-nuptial agreements) when clients wish to record their understanding about how property will be dealt with if they separate or die. These agreements are becoming increasingly prevalent as a form of relationship “insurance”, ensuring that both parties have an enforceable plan should they separate or one of them dies.  I also help clients to negotiate agreements and settlements when couples are separating and am highly experienced when it comes to property sale and purchase transactions.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I can highly recommend Sarah Bee – she has been an absolute star to deal with, extremely professional and I really couldn’t have asked for anyone to be more efficient. Sarah has replied after hours and in weekends to my emails, deconstructed legal terminology (!) and generally made setting up a trust, selling a house and purchasing a house a very easy, stress-free process for me. I have no hesitation in recommending Sarah and will definitely be using her services again in the future.”
Anne-Marie Grace, Auckland

 

“We have dealt with Saunders and Co for many years and most recently with Sarah Bee for a property sale transaction. Sarah has been wonderful to deal with whether via phone, email or text. Since the earthquakes, property sales in the Canterbury region seem to always be a protracted event and we thank Sarah for her guidance and good humour through the peaks and troughs.”
Anne and Barry Worthington, Auckland

 

“We would like to thank you for the professional and courteous service we received from Sarah in acting for us with the sale of the apartment. I have to say, she was excellent, and is a credit to your business. We thought things were complicated, but Sarah always explained everything so thoroughly that we were always left feeling confident. We trusted her without question. She was just so diligent and responsive.”
Joseph and Pauline Besso, Christchurch

Locations:

CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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