Relationship property

Help to divide property after a relationship separation

When couples separate, there’s a lot to think about and sort through.

A big part of that is how to separate accumulated property and other assets. That’s hard work – it’s stressful, time consuming, and disputes happen. If you need help working with your former partner to divide shared property, we can help.

At Fair Way, we are the experts in dispute resolution, including issues around relationship property. Our job is to calm stressful situations – it’s in our name, as ‘kia tau’ means ‘to settle, to resolve, to calm’.

Mediation is an excellent way forward. With the guidance of one of our experienced mediators, former couples collaborate to agree on how to divide and share relationship property.

It’s much quicker, easier and cheaper than going to court. And we have a very high success rate – around 80% of the people who come to us reach agreement through mediation.

If you also need help creating a parenting plan, try our Family Dispute Resolution service.

What’s involved in mediation?

Mediation is a collaborative way to reach an agreement on your relationship property.

It involves one of our mediators having one-on-one meetings with each of you to understand the issues, then having joint meetings with your former partner. During the joint meetings, your mediator supports you both to work through issues and develop your own solutions, reaching the best possible outcome for each of you. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator prepares a written agreement for you to sign.

Fair Way’s mediators are highly experienced at working with separated couples, helping them agree on how to share property – and children, via our Family Dispute Resolution service (FDR).

Our mediators don’t take sides and they don’t make decisions – their role is to guide you through difficult conversations, supporting you to reach agreement.

They take the time to understand what’s important to each of you, then use their skills and experience to create a collaborative and calm environment for you and your former partner to come up with a plan that works for both of you.

Why decide on mediation with Fair Way?

Through the mediation process, you can:

  • resolve issues quickly and cost effectively
  • ensure you have disclosed all items of property (as required by law when dividing relationship property) and that full disclosure has been provided to you
  • support your family and childcare arrangements
  • restore and maintain relationships
  • gain clarity and closure
  • learn skills for future conversations
  • maintain the confidentiality and privacy of your situation.

Schedule of assets and liabilities

An important part of the process is ensuring that both parties have detailed all relationship property assets and liabilities. This includes things like your home, furniture, vehicles, savings, KiwiSaver, and debts you have acquired together. Don’t worry – we help you work through this process.

The mediation process

  • Get in touch

    Tell us about your situation and find out how we can help.

    Phone: 0800 77 44 20  


    Online: webform

    When you get in touch, we discuss your situation, talk about the process, and give you an indication of the fee based on your information. We contact the other party to begin engaging them in the mediation. Once both sides are ready and agree, Fair Way recommends mediators for you both to choose from.

    Get in touch Process
  • Individual meeting

    After your mediator is appointed, they get in touch to arrange a time for you each to meet them to discuss your situation and the next steps.

  • Prepare (optional)

    You can arrange a short optional session with an independent professional to help you prepare for mediation. This helps you compile a list of your assets, sort through the issues and decide what you want to say.

    Prepare process
  • Joint meeting

    Your mediator leads the meeting and helps you explore the issues, perspectives and solutions. The aim is to develop a lasting agreement that works for you both.

    Conciliation Mediation
  • Certification

    Either before the mediation or after, it’s important you talk with your lawyer about your legal rights and obligations. They will provide certification that you fully understand the nature of the agreement reached. This ensures that your relationship property agreement is binding by law.


Important information about relationship property mediation

  • What ‘relationship property’ is

    Relationship property is a term that covers the things of financial value you gained during the relationship.

    It can include:

    • the family home and contents (but not taonga or heirlooms), other land or buildings and vehicles
    • salary or wages earned during the relationship, insurance payouts, superannuation you received, rents and other income from joint property
    • any property gained when you were in the relationship, or had the relationship in mind, and intended for both of you to use
    • non-personal debts (your personal debts are your own responsibility)
    • gifts or inheritances that have become mixed with relationship property
    • property you both agree is relationship property
    • increases in the value of relationship property, income from it, or the proceeds from the sale of it.

     See the Ministry of Justice website for more information.

  • Legal advice

    We recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    Your Fair Way mediator can’t give you legal advice and won’t make decisions for you. 

    If you would like your Relationship Property Agreement to be legally binding, both parties must receive independent legal advice and have a lawyer certify the agreement.

    You may be eligible for legal aid. To find out more about this, give Fair Way a call.

  • Timeframe

    Your mediator works with both of you to develop a timeline that suits your needs.

    Once both parties have agreed to attend mediation, the mediation usually takes place within a few weeks.

    The joint mediation meeting is often a half day or full day depending on your needs.

    Our team of Resolution Coordinators is available to guide you through the process, step by step.

  • Mediators

    At Fair Way, our mediators are fully accredited through the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ), the Resolution Institute or the New Zealand Law Society.

    Our relationship property specialists are legally trained and experienced with the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.

    You can trust that we have the expertise to help you resolve any relationship property issues.

  • Cost

    Each mediation is different, so costs do vary depending on the differing needs.

    When you get in touch with Fair Way, we outline our costs and provide you with an estimate for our services.

    In most cases, the total cost per person is between $2,000 and $3,500, excluding GST.

    It’s much more cost-effective than going to court to settle relationship property.

  • Find out more

    To find out more about mediation and relationship property, get in touch on 0800 77 44 20 or email

Find out more

Do you have children?

We can also help create a parenting plan or make arrangements for your children. Just get in touch or see our Family Dispute Resolution webpages.