Payne v Bradley [2017] NZFC 3207

Published 19 September 2017

Reserved judgment — application for division of relationship property — application to set aside transfer of property — undue influence — unconscionable bargain — contempt of court — marriage of short duration — whether parties were in a de facto relationship prior to marriage — nature of relationship — Property (Relationships) Act 1976. An application was made for the division of relationship property for a marriage that had lasted for four and a half weeks. The parties disputed the nature of their relationship before the marriage as to whether they were in a de facto relationship, or whether the relationship was one of caregiver and patient. An application was also made for a property transferred by the applicant to the respondent, to be returned to him as the transfer was made because of undue influence, or because of an unconscionable bargain. The court found that the parties had been in a de facto relationship before their marriage, and that the relationship had commenced on the date that the applicant's superannuation payment was reduced. The court found that the property transferred to the respondent had been done so as the result of undue influence and ordered that it be transferred back to the applicant. The court did not find that the transfer was the result of an unconscionable bargain. The court ordered that the property transferred to the respondent as a result of undue influence was to be returned to the applicant, and that the respondent was in contempt of court for the breach of an order made previously for failing to transfer a sum of money that was the subject of a dispute to a trust account. Judgment Date: 13 June 2017. * * * Note: Names have been changed to comply with legal requirements * * *