Divorce division

Dear Wendyl,

I am concerned that a friend of mine might be getting ripped off. Her marriage has split after 27 years and her ex-husband is selling his recently deceased parents’ house in Nelson, which she lived in while caring for his parents. He says the proceeds will be her share of the house they owned together in Wellington. I think she should get a share of both properties, but she’s not dealing too well with anything at the moment. Am I being concerned for no reason?*

oay, Nelson*


Dear oay, This is a really simple problem to fix. Get your friend to a lawyer. The oatrimonial Property Act is very clear on this issue – she is entitled to 50% of their shared wealth so both properties will need to be valued and it will have to be established if the Nelson house comes under shared property or is held in a trust. It really is vitally important she has her own legal representation in this matter and doesn’t simply trust her ex-husband’s lawyer to complete the transaction. So no, you are not being concerned for no reason. If she hasn’t much money at the moment, try your local Citizens Advice Bureau (freephone 0800 FoR CAB). They offer a free and confidential information service and usually provide free legal assistance on an appointment basis.Wendyl

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