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The 5 Best Divorce Lawyers in NZ [2021]

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The 5 Best Divorce Lawyers in NZ [2021 ]

Featured Image Source from The Mercy Law Firm

By Tony Wang

When people file for divorce, there’s usually a lot of emotions involved, making it hard to reach a settlement—especially when there are property and money involved.

If you’re going through a divorce and need help, we’ve listed the best divorce lawyers in NZ. We chose lawyers who are caring and understanding and can navigate you through the problem you’re facing right now.

Our suggested lawyers have had many successful outcomes and come highly recommended by their past clients.

But before we show you our top list, we’ll discuss the price range of working with divorce lawyers in New Zealand, so that you’ll know how much you have to spend.

The Price Range of Working with Divorce Lawyers in NZ

The average price range of hiring a divorce lawyer in NZ is $140 to $415 per hour. However, you can find prices as low as $40 or as high as $690 per hour range as well.

In addition, some others go beyond that range such as with Jeremy Sutton law firm which charges $1,500 (excluding GST) only for consultation.

You might think that’s exorbitant but it’s actually a great deal since the hourly drop of rate is taken out and the lawyer will work with you until the matter is resolved.

Apart from the consultation fee, other costs consist of the drafting of documents, subsequent consultations, negotiations, meetings, phone calls, emails, and others.

In addition, these are court fees taken from the NZ Ministry of Justice that you have to pay in New Zealand for matters relating to Family Law.

Family Court Application Court Fees
Apply for a Dissolution Order (for a divorce) $211.50
Apply for a Parenting Order or to change (vary) or cancel (discharge) a Parenting Order $220
Apply for an order about relationship property $700
Hearings about relationship property $906 per half-day or part of a half-day

Note that prices for the court fees indicated above are inclusive of GST. These fees have to be paid whether or not your case is urgent.

That said, you and your ex-partner can ask the court to waive the fee. Both of you will have to sign the fee waiver form for the divorce application to do so.

The Best Divorce Lawyers in NZ

With an idea of how much you need to spend for divorce lawyers and court applications, we now present to you the best divorce lawyers in NZ!

1)   Jeremy Sutton – Jeremy Sutton

BEST FOR High-profile divorce settlements
SERVICES Childcare
Relationship property
Wills
ADDRESS Bastion Chambers, Level 3, Shortland Chambers, 70 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS +64 9-309 4647
OFFICE HOURS Monday – Friday: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: closed  
*For urgent after-hours enquiries, kindly send Jeremy an email
PRICES Initial consultation: $1,500 + GST For an accurate legal quote, try his fee calculator here

If your significant investments are on the line due to divorce, Jeremy Sutton is the lawyer to call! He’s been settling high-income divorce cases for the past 20 years.

He is known for his calm and straightforward approach and personally represents clients in round table meetings and mediation.

Based on the reviews, he’s been very successful at protecting the important assets of his many clients and helping them get through the painful burden of divorce.

Jeremy is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association and the Family Law Section. He doesn’t charge clients on an hourly basis but on a set basis from $1,500 + GST.

Pros

Apart from being professional and prompt to respond, Jeremy listens to and cares about his clients. Let’s take a look at some of the reviews:

One client wrote this feedback of Jeremy and his team:

“Assisting a client when they’re navigating a relationship breakup and then finalising legal matters is a complex process. Jeremy and his team assisted me in a manner that was at all times extremely professional but with just the right amount of empathy and with a personal touch. I highly recommend Jeremy Sutton. He cared about me. He made me feel valued.  He listened, he guided and he helped me achieve an outcome that has resulted in me now being able to move forward confidently towards my future. I am pleased that I had Jeremy representing me over the extensive period of time it took to resolve my matter.”

Also, another client named Steve posted this review:

“From the time I sent the first email, within a couple of hours Jeremy had rung me back to discuss the issues that I needed to resolve in my relationship settlement. From that first contact I found Jeremy Sutton to be prompt, professional, to the point and focused on getting a fair and reasonable result once all the legal issues were discussed.

I was impressed with the way that he dealt with the matters at issue and focused on the important things and what methods for the outcome of the settlement.

He was great to deal with during the meeting with the other parties, remaining calm and always had my best interests at heart during the negotiations. His background staff couldn’t have been more helpful and professional and very efficient.

While Jeremy isn’t the cheapest Lawyer you might find, the fast outcome and professionalism was second to none and we both are very happy we decided to proceed with Jeremy’s services. Thank you Jeremy, Shenali and team at Bastion Chambers.”

2)   Sharon Chandra – Turner Hopkins

BEST FOR Relationship properties
SERVICES Adoption
Childcare
Divorce
Domestic violence
Prenups
Spousal maintenance
ADDRESS 400 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS +64 09-486-2167
OFFICE HOURS Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday – Sunday: closed
PRICES Please contact her for more details

Working for Turner Hopkins, Sharon Chandra is experienced in all aspects of family law such as relationship property, divorce, spousal maintenance, and care of children.

During the span of her career, she has acted for clients with these cases with great results. She focuses on giving practical advice to clients to resolve issues cost-effectively.

One client described Sharon as having a stern manner which assured him that she can get the job done of protecting you and your property.

Also, she’s a Regional Representative of Family Law, writes for a legal research firm Westlaw, and often speaks at seminars conducted by the New Zealand Law Society.

Pros

Cons

3)   Rachel Dewar – Rachel Dewar Law

BEST FOR Child custody cases
SERVICES Relationship property
Prenuptial agreements
Parenting and relocation
Adoption
Surrogacy arrangements
ADDRESS 38-42 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS Phone: +64 4-891 0500
Fax: 04 891 0503
Email:
OFFICE HOURS Monday – Friday: 8.30 AM – 5.30 PM
Saturday – Sunday: closed
PRICES Please contact her for more details

Need a family lawyer that’s respectful and caring? You should talk to Rachel Dewar. She has over three decades of experience and is one of the best divorce lawyers in NZ.

She’s a senior lawyer for Child as well as an accredited Family Dispute Mediator.

In 2019, Rachel served as Chair for the NZLS Family Law Conference, which was attended by lawyers from both NZ and abroad. Currently, she is on the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Law Society in Wellington.

Pros

Cons

Check out some of the reviews about Rachel Dewar Law on Google Business:

Here’s what Chrissy has to say of Rachel:

“Rachael and her team, are awesome. I have referred a few people to Rachael. They all say that she treats everyone with respect and confidence. Rachael has strong ethics. She is also part of my network group and each week she receives huge accolades. Definitely recommend her and her team.”

Another client named Nat left this review:

“These are the most helpful lawyers I’ve ever met. They have been outstanding at helping.me navigate a very tricky situation.”

4)   Kristy O’Connor – Weston Ward & Lascelles

BEST FOR Childcare arrangements
SERVICES Protection of personal property rights
Family Law
Relationship property
ADDRESS 1/10 Leslie Hills Drive, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS 03 379 1 740
OFFICE HOURS Monday – Friday: 8.30 AM – 5.00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: closed
PRICES Please contact her for more details

Kristy O’Connor is a partner and the first female member of Weston Ward & Lascelles. She is highly adept in Family Law, having more than 30 years of experience.

She aims to give the best possible outcome for you and your ex-partner through a non-confrontational approach.

Kristy can also assist you with child care based on your agreement with your partner. If no resolution is made, she can represent you in the Family Court or the High Court.

Other legal matters she can help with are relationship property and personal property rights.

Pros

Cons

5)   Liz Lewes – Cuba Family Law

BEST FOR Family violence
SERVICES Family violence
Children
Mental health work
ADDRESS Level 4, Fraser House, 160 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS 04 801 5156
OFFICE HOURS Monday – Friday: 8.30 AM – 5.00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: closed
PRICES Please contact her for more details

Were you a victim of abuse by your partner? If so, Liz Lewes can help you get the help and justice you deserve.

Liz is the director of Wellington-based Cuba Family Law. She specialises in domestic violence cases as well as children and mental health work.

She graduated from the University of Otago with a degree in Political Science with Honours. She has also practised law both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, Liz has been appointed by the Court to act on behalf of children, and by the New Zealand Central Authority to handle cases under the Hague Convention.

Pros

Cons

FAQS about the Top Divorce Lawyers in NZ

Should I tell my divorce lawyer everything?

You have to tell your divorce lawyer everything important to the case. Other than that, you can just keep things to yourself to protect your privacy.

What is the divorce rate in NZ?

According to Stats NZ, the divorce rate in 2020 is 0.86% or 8.6 out of every 1,000 marriages and civil unions. This has been the same for the past 5 years.

How do I choose a good divorce lawyer?

First, you have to know what you want, with regard to the result you’re going after and legal advice that you need about your marriage situation at this time.

Hiring a divorce lawyer is not cheap as the price adds up by the hour. That’s why you have to know your budget so you won’t spend money more than you have to.

Now it’s time to find your top potential divorce lawyers and do some research on them. Identify and weigh the pros and cons of each of these legal advocates.

Find out a bit more about them by talking to them through the phone and seeing if they are good enough to handle your divorce case.

After that, it’s time to make a decision. Evaluate the information you gathered, budget, and pros and cons, and pick the lawyer you can rely on the most.

How long does a divorce process take in NZ?

If you come to court with your partner and the judge makes a dissolution order, your divorce will be effective immediately. But if you submit a joint application for a divorce to a registrar, it can take about a month for you and your wife to be divorced.

And you’ve just read through our top divorce lawyers in NZ list! They can provide you with the best legal solution to protect yourself and your valuable assets.

Has everything been clear thus far? If we missed anything or you have any questions for us, kindly drop us a line and we’ll get back to you in a bit.

Looking for property and relationship property lawyers? If you are, feel free to check out our options for the best property lawyers in Auckland.

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