Kerikeri, New Zealand

Tel: 09 407 7099   /   Email:

Faq

FAQ

This is a list of questions I frequently receive from clients. Feel free to get in contact with me and ask a specific question if your question is not listed.

What type of law do you do?

My work mainly involves couples separating and entering into new relationships. I do however do other work related to family property and you can see a full list of my services on the ‘services’ tab above.  If you need help with something which is not listed, you can contact me. I will be able to point you in the right direction.

Do you only work for clients in Northland?

No. If you are in Northland (or overseas) and need help with a separation or pre-nuptial agreement, I can offer you a ‘full service’. This is because there are very strict document signing requirements. The overseas exception is just that – an exception. At times I can offer this full service to clients from the Auckland region, by prior arrangement. I also provide a document drafting service for clients all over New Zealand, and can also assist with other property matters – it is just the relationship property (matrimonial property) matters which really need to be local.

How do you determine your fees?

There are three main ways I charge clients: fixed fees, block fees, and on a time taken basis (hourly rates).

Can you explain the differences in the fee structures?

In most cases I will agree with you on a fixed fee (including GST) for the entire job. In the services section of this website you will see that I give quotes for some jobs and possible cost indications for other jobs. In those latter cases I cannot give a quote until I know your personal situation.

At other times we will agree to undertake a certain part of your overall file for a fixed fee. When that job is completed, we will agree to a new fee for the next part of the project. This is called block fees. For example we may quote you a fee to investigate your case. Then a second fee to prepare documents for you, etc.

At other times (with agreement with you) we will charge on the basis of the time taken on your file. In these cases we will charge using an hourly rate.  My current hourly rate is $200.00 per hour. Other staff may be required to work on your file who have higher or lower rates, depending on their expertise.When we are working on an hourly rate structure we will bill you regularly so you can keep an eye on your costs.

Am I free to decide how my fee will be determined?

Most of the time, yes. If I offer you a fixed fee and you believe it would be more cost efficient for you to do it in blocks, or on a time taken basis, then that is perfectly acceptable. In certain cases which are very hard to quote, I may not be able to offer a fixed fee, and will either have to use block fees or hourly rates. We will discuss your personal case before we determine how to bill.

I’m going to get you to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement for me, what do I need to give you?

I need to know what assets are to be included in the agreement, and (if possible) what these are worth. This will need to include all assets which will be treated as ‘yours’, all assets belonging to your spouse or partner, and all jointly owned assets (if any).

I also need as much background information as you can give me, including: full names, occupations, addresses, children (if any), date relationship started, etc. I will let you know when I start work what exactly I need.

I’m going to get you to draw up a separation agreement for me, what do I need to give you?

I need to know what assets are to be included in the agreement, and (if possible) what these are worth.

I then need to know how you will be dividing your property – what you are taking, what your ex-spouse or partner is taking.

I also need as much background information as you can give me, including: full names, occupations, addresses, children (if any), date relationship started, etc. I will let you know when I start work what exactly I need.

I’m going to get you to complete my divorce, what do I need to give you?

  • A certified copy of your marriage certificate (If you were married in New Zealand we can obtain this for you from the government for an additional charge of $50, or you can get a new one yourself).
  • A copy of your separation agreement (if any).
  • If there is no separation agreement, the date when you separated.

I also need as much background information as you can give me, including: full names, occupations, addresses, children (if any), date relationship started, etc. I will let you know when I start work if I need more information.