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  • Mamta Dave

Divorce Law in New Zealand

Divorce is the legal term for dissolving a marriage or civil union. The applicant may apply to the Family Court either for mutual divorce or an ex parte divorce.



To end the marriage or a civil union, the applicant must satisfy the following conditions:


  • Both parties must have been living apart for two years or more; and

  • At least one party to the divorce reside in New Zealand. The party living in New Zealand must have a permanent home/or have the intention to live permanently in New Zealand. As per the definition of the domicile of New Zealand.

When the parties have lived together within the last two years, they could still apply for a divorce because they were trying to get back together after separating. However, they need to tell the court in their application that they did this to get back together.


During these two years, the parties can try to get back together more than once, as long as the total time they have to spend together trying to reconcile is not more than three months.

Once the above requirement is satisfied, the Family Court can end the marriage or civil union by making a Dissolution Order.

When it comes to divorce, there are other factors to be considered as well. If you face a hard time in your relationship and need more advice on your legal rights and responsibilities, don’t wait too long to obtain legal help.