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Protecting your pink dollar

By - 21 Feb 2014

In the six months that have passed since the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 (Act) came into force, New Zealand has proudly hosted approximately 361 same-sex marriages. The excitement and hype that followed the Parliamentary announcement last April has been slow to wane, and rightly so; the passing of the Act remains a significant step towards the equalising of LGBTI rights both in New Zealand and globally. 

However, something critical is missing from the conversations we are having about Louisa Wall's courage, Maurice Williamson's rainbow and the opportunity for same-sex nuptial bliss; and that something is 'nuptial risk'.

The financial risks and potential liabilities associated with marriage require more airtime. Whilst we all hope our relationships will last forever, statistically many of them will not. Accordingly, couples need to obtain advice about the implications of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA) from a legal expert before they walk down the aisle.  Examples of some of the issues that couples should consider include:

  • What do the equal sharing provisions of the PRA mean for me and my hard earned assets (including my future income)? 
  • What do they mean for the inheritance I've set aside for the children of my previous relationship?
  • Will I become liable for my partner's enormous student loan?
  • Will I need to share my inheritance?
  • What happens if we have children and I give up my income to raise them?
  • Are the assets I have in trust protected?

The answers to these questions can be complicated and it is important that any solution takes into account each individual's past, present and anticipated financial situation. 

Martelli McKegg is proud to be "mostly straight but not narrow", so to celebrate Auckland Pride month, and in an effort to give the issues raised in this blog more airtime, we are offering free consultations for same-sex couples who would like to learn more about how they can protect their pink dollar. 

To book your consultation, please contact our resident Pink Partner Lisa Gerrard.


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