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Holroyd v Holroyd [2019] NZFC 7268

Published 23 November 2022

Relationship property division — nature and extent of relationship property — occupation rent — separate property — compensation for disparity — share trading — dishonesty — failure to disclose — Property (Relationships) Act 1976, ss 9, 15, 17, 18, 21 & 23 — Scott v Williams [2017] NZSC 185 — X v X [Economic Disparity] [2009] NZCA 399, [2010] 1 NZLR 601. Following the end of their 16-year relationship, the parties had resolved most of the issues relating to the division of the relationship property. This hearing was to determine residual issues, particularly in light of the discovery that the respondent had hidden an Australian share portfolio valued at over $640,000. The applicant sought over $7000 relating to the discovery and investigation of the hidden share portfolio. The respondent accepted he should contribute to this cost, but did not think he should pay all of it: the costs were excessive, because the applicant's lawyers had no idea what they were looking for. The Judge rejected this argument as it was the respondent's dishonesty and failure to disclose which incurred the costs. The respondent was to pay the applicant costs of $7358.85. The applicant was awarded $7000, being half the sum of money paid from the relationship property pool to upkeep a marina berth owned by the respondent. The applicant also sought an award under s 15 Property (Relationships) Act for compensation for economic disparity. At the end of their relationship her income was around $11,000 while the respondent was earning $150,000. She submitted she had been prevented from training and keeping up her employment skills due to the division of relationship functions. She took care of the home and children while the respondent earned income through shift work. She was unable to train and work due to the respondent's schedule, which took priority. The Judge referred to case law and calculated a quantum of $100,000. This took into account the applicant's field, training ability, the respondent's earning capacity, the disadvantage the applicant faced, and the total value of the relationship property pool. The issues resolved in the parties' s 21 agreement were upheld, subject to the respondent's obligation to pay the applicant costs and the $7000 for the marina, recorded by formal court order. Judgment Date: 12 September 2019.