Frequently asked questions
We’ve tried to cover any question you may have below for both agreements, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please just get in touch with us!
Agreement FAQs Certification FAQs
Can we create our own agreements without using your document?
Yes, however, in order to use our certification service online, we prefer that our agreements are used as a precedent. This is because our lawyers know and endorse our agreements and they have been crafted to fit our online service.
How can I be sure that your agreement fits our situations?
If you are unsure about whether this agreement fits your situation, please contact us by phoning 0800 9 AGREE or enquire through our online form.
What do I need before purchasing your agreement?
Please also have all relevant information together before beginning. We suggest that before you sit down to complete your agreement, you make sure you have details of all the property you want to cover off in the agreement. If that includes:
a) bank accounts, have the account numbers and balances;
b) properties, have the addresses and values of those properties to hand, as well as your latest mortgage statements;
c) cars, make sure you know the registration numbers;
d) shares, make sure you know how many shares there are, what companies they are in, and what their approximate value is.
You can still complete the agreement without this information, but in our experience, the process is simpler and faster if you have this information ready before you start.
Accurate information is essential!
What happens if we purchase the agreement, but decide not to use your service for certification?
That is fine. It is up to you which lawyers you engage to certify your agreement. You may be able to use our agreement with another local law firm.
Do we need legal advice before purchasing your online agreement?
You can purchase our agreement online without needing to consult a lawyer. Our online process lets you craft the agreement in your own time to suit your situation. Our certification process gives you access to advice on the effects and implications of the agreement once it has been drafted.
If you need help from a lawyer during the drafting process (because, for instance, you have a vast array of assets or your agreement is uniquely complicated), let us know and we can put you in touch with someone who can help (with fees to be determined between you and the lawyer).
Will I need to have my partner or ex-partner with me to complete the questionnaire?
If that is not possible, we recommend sending the word document to your partner/ex-partner so they can review the answers and confirm they are correct and accurate.
What if my partner is based overseas?
Only one of you needs to live in New Zealand for the agreement to be binding. The jurisdiction of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 relates to all property in New Zealand and property anywhere in the world that is not land. You can agree to divide all such property in your separation agreement.
What if my partner does not agree?
Unfortunately, this process is voluntary and both parties need to agree to enter into the agreement. This means if one party does not want to sign, you may have to go to the Family Court or look into alternative options such as mediation in relation to your relationship property dispute.
We are happy to discuss options with you and your partner.
What if I do not own a credit card? How can I purchase the agreement?
Agreeable can provide invoices or direct bank transfers. Please contact us to get this sorted.
What kind of technology do I need to complete the agreement?
You will need an up-to-date browser (we recommend Google Chrome) and a solid internet connection. We recommend you use a laptop or computer for the best visual experience, but you can use your mobile phone if you have to.
How long does it take to draft the agreement?
This will vary between couples and will depend to an extent on how complex your situation is. However, generally it takes no longer than an hour to complete the agreement for most couples with a straightforward situation. To make the process as easy as possible, we suggest you compile as much information about your and your partner’s assets and liabilities before you begin (e.g., bank account numbers, car details, property addresses, and so on).
How much does the agreement cost?
Our agreements cost $350.000 (inclusive of GST). This is payable directly on our website. There is a separate charge for certification (which is required to make the agreement legally binding).
What is included in the agreement?
Our agreements can be tailored to suit you and your relationship.
We generally include the dates your relationship started (and/or ended), the types of assets and liabilities each party has, and the details of how your property will be split between you.
When we say “property”, we mean the family home, any beach or rental properties, your personal belongings, bank accounts, motor vehicles, super schemes, debts, trusts, businesses, pets, inheritances – you name it!
The agreement also includes the details that are necessary to make the agreement legally sound, including a provision for online witnessing and certification.
Where something is not covered, we will work with you after the questionnaire is completed to come to a solution.
When do I need an agreement?
The best time to get an agreement is as soon as your relationship becomes serious (in which case, you want a relationship property agreement) or ends (which is time for a separation agreement). The second-best time is right now.
The earlier you get onto an agreement, the easier the process will be. The longer you wait, the more time both you, us and the lawyers will have to spend understanding your situation and assets.
Do I need to complete the agreement questionnaire in one sitting?
The short answer is no, but we do recommend completing the questionnaire on one device and in one sitting. In saying that, after purchasing the agreement you will be able to exit and return to the questionnaire as you need. Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be provided with a fully editable word document, that you can continue to work on and refine as it suits you.
What if we make a mistake or need to go back?
That is no issue. Our online process uses a questionnaire format that allows you to go back to previously answered questions. We can also provide you with login details so you can access the questionnaire as you need.
We completed the agreement. What happens next?
We can help by reviewing your agreement and providing guidance around any issues you might have. The next stage is certification. Certification is the process in which two independent lawyers (one for you, one for your partner) give you advice on the effect and implication of your agreement. It is a requirement under NZ law for you to receive this advice and get your agreement certified. If you do not, your agreement will not be legally binding.
Agreeable can arrange two independent lawyers at a fixed fee to provide advice on your agreement and complete the certification. The lawyers will discuss your agreement with you separately before certifying they have given you the advice. Once both of you have been through this process your agreement will be legally binding.
up to you which lawyers you engage to certify your agreement. You may be able to use our agreement with another local law firm.
Certification FAQs Agreement FAQs
How does the certification process work?
Once you notify Agreeable you have finished your agreement (don’t sign it yet!), we refer it to two of our expert independent lawyers. If only one of you wants to use an Agreeable lawyer, then we can provide just the one!
The lawyers will provide a fixed fee quote for certifying your agreement. We will discuss the quote with you and if you are happy to proceed, we will invoice you.
Once we have received your payment, we will introduce you to your respective lawyers (or lawyer if only one of you is using our service).
The lawyers will guide you from there, however Agreeable will suggest which of you should go through the certification process first. The lawyers may need to make amendments, negotiate, or do due diligence before proceeding to signing. This is included in the fee.
How long does the certification process take?
If the agreement and your situation is simple and relationship property is divided equally, the whole process can take less than 10 days from the time we receive your payment for certification. From receiving payment of your invoice, to the completion of the certification, Agreeable aims to take no more than two weeks (as the agreement goes to each party and their lawyer consecutively). Timing does depend, however, on how quickly all parties make progress on the agreement.
What documents will the lawyers need to see?
You must share all relevant information about relationship and separate property with your partner. That might mean you need to show them:
- Bank statements.
- Credit card statements.
- Home loan statements.
- Student loan balances.
- KiwiSaver statements.
- Values of any cars (if possible).
- Valuations of any businesses or trusts.
- Valuations of any higher ticket items.
You also need to be upfront with them about what assets and liabilities you have. If your partner doesn’t know that you have a certain asset and it is not included in your agreement, then the terms of your agreement might not apply to that asset.
What happens after we have a certified agreement?
This depends the purpose for which you got the agreement. For separating couples who have a family home or properties, this may include showing the agreement to the bank (if there’s a mortgage) or a conveyancing lawyer to change the title on the property to one party only. It may also include showing your KiwiSaver Scheme Manager if you need to access or split funds.
You should keep your agreement in a safe place. It does not need to be submitted to a court to become binding.
Can my lawyer refuse to certify the agreement?
Yes. All lawyers have ethical and professional obligations that might prevent them from being able to certify your agreement in rare circumstances. In the unlikely event that a lawyer cannot certify your agreement Agreeable will refund you the invoice for certification less any costs already incurred in the process.
Can we get a JP or friend to witness this for the certification stage?
No. Under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, advice and certification must be provided by a New Zealand lawyer .
What if we disagree or need to change the agreement during certification?
One of our expert lawyers might suggest edits or variations to the agreement if they think necessary to suit your particular situation. This should be expected as part of the advice and certification stage and is part of what ensures your agreement is yours.
What happens if we pay for certification and decide not to go ahead with it?
Agreeable will refund your certification less any costs Agreeable has incurred. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
We cannot afford the fee for certification. Is Agreeable flexible with payment?
In situations where partners are serious about getting their agreement certified but cannot pay the fee upfront, Agreeable may be able to consider other payment options. Please contact Agreeable to discuss your situation. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to enter into an alternative payment option in your situation.
Where do I need to go for the certification?
How do I sign the agreement online?
Agreeable uses software which allows you to sign the agreement online. This can be using your finger on a touchpad, directly on the screen if you are using a tablet device, or using your mouse to draw your signature. If you have a saved signature you can also use this if you have it saved in an accessible format.