A cost-effective alternative to court
After separating, you could find yourself at loggerheads with your former partner or spouse on exactly how all property should be divided between you. Negotiations may be bouncing between your lawyers, with no common ground achieved. Without agreement, you could file court proceedings but learn costs would increase dramatically. As well, it could be years before a judge can give a decision on how your property will be divided.
Mediation, on the other hand, could be arranged within weeks. It offers a practical alternative to reach a conclusion on how property should be divided between you and your former partner.
Continue reading “Solving relationship property issues by mediation”
The seven year itch
The Clean Slate Act or clean slate scheme, more formally and correctly known as the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, became law almost 15 years ago. The rationale behind the legislation was to enable people who had certain convictions to put their past behind them without the stigma of a permanent conviction. Having a criminal record can have far-reaching consequences for employment, immigration, voluntary work and various other matters.
What the legislation means
The Clean Slate Act limits the effect of convictions if certain criteria are satisfied. If it has been seven years since you were convicted, you will be considered to have no criminal record and can state this to anyone who asks.
Continue reading “Wiping the slate clean”
What happens when your employee wants to retract their resignation?
We all know that people can sometimes say things in the heat of the moment which, on reflection, they didn’t really mean. What happens when your employee quits suddenly, perhaps by storming out of your workplace as a result of a disagreement? As an employer, can you take this as a resignation? What happens if your employee has a change of heart and wants to return to work?
Most employment agreements will provide a notice period that any employee must give when they want to end their employment. This allows you some time to find a replacement and make arrangements for the handover of work.
Continue reading “Second thoughts”
If you have a claim of up to $15,000 – the Disputes Tribunal provides a simple, cost-effective way of dealing with civil disputes. We outline below the basics of what you need to know to make a claim.
The Disputes Tribunal is not a court and there are no judges. Hearings are run by referees who will help the parties to reach an agreement. You can’t have a lawyer with you at the actual hearing – you have to represent yourself. You can, however, talk with us before lodging a claim or attending your hearing.
We do urge you, however, to try and settle your dispute rather than have to go to the Disputes Tribunal.
Generally, the Disputes Tribunal is for claims of up to $15,000. However, if everyone agrees then the amount can be $20,000. If you have a dispute for between $15,000 and $200,000, you will need to go to the District Court. The High Court hears larger disputes.
Continue reading “DIY at the Disputes Tribunal”
Protecting the elderly
Using an enduring power of attorney
People often find themselves looking after someone else’s money or property under an enduring power of attorney (EPA) but they are unsure what they are supposed to do. A recent High Court decision (1) demonstrates the risks of ignoring the strict duties which are imposed. Although this is an actual case the names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Arnold was getting on a bit. His wife had died, one of his two sons had died also and Arnold was no longer able to live alone. Arnold had signed an EPA appointing his surviving son, Bert, as his property attorney. The High Court judge who heard this case explained what happened next:
Continue reading “Would you do this for your father’s money?”
You have just moved into your new home and your neighbour knocks on your door. They say that your garage is two metres into their boundary, and that they need this space to widen their driveway. Suddenly you wish you had known where your boundary was before you purchased the property.
There is a great deal of information now available which shows the boundaries on properties that were previously not apparent without a survey. With the rise of the internet, prospective purchasers are raising issues as to the location of legal boundaries that existing owners may never have known about previously.
Continue reading “Legal Boundaries: Why titles matter”
How you can help avoid a claim on your own estate.
In December 2015 the Sunday Star Times reported on a dispute amongst the members of the Ropati family in respect of their mother’s estate. The article contains the following statements:
“Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that the number of disputes over wills rose by nearly a third in just two years … In 2012 there were 252 contested wills, and last year the figure reached 325 … Claims against estates can be brought by widows, widowers, de-facto partners, children, step-children and grandchildren … A claimant has to prove that the deceased failed to discharge a moral duty to provide for him or her … In one extreme case, two sisters battling over their mother’s $80,000 estate took their fight to the Supreme Court … The dispute between Judith Guerin and Marta Hayes lasted more than five years.”
Continue reading “Increase in Claims on Estates”
by Chris Grenfell
Like any relationship, the relationship between a sharemilker and farm owner has times where disputes and problems can occur. There are a number of ways that these issues can be resolved and this article looks at the most common methods contained in modern sharemilking agreements.
Continue reading “When the effluent hits the fan”