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 here OR try the live chat in the bottom-right corner!
Do we need legal advice before purchasing your online agreement?
You don’t need initial legal advice to purchase and draft the agreement with us, but by law you will need legal advice for the second step: certification. Our online process lets you craft the agreement in your own time to suit your situation, then we can connect you to two lawyers to provide each of you with online advice and certification.
We encourage you to get in touch with us today and let us know a bit about your situation – we will be happy to help point you in the right direction whether that is initial legal advice or starting an agreement with Agreeable.
What do I need before purchasing your agreement?
Firstly, if you haven’t already, download our guide if you haven’t already, for more info:
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. For the questionnaire, you just need the information, and for certification, you will need the disclosure documents of the significant assets that you are keeping separate (eg screenshots/PDFs of bank account balances, mortgage balances, etc). You will typically need information about:
a) bank accounts & Kiwisavers – you should have the provider, account name, and latest balances;
b) properties – you should have the addresses and values of those properties at-hand, as well as your latest mortgage statements;
c) cars – you should have the registration numbers & rough values;
d) shares – you should know how many shares there are, what companies they are in, and what their approximate value is.
The process is much simpler, faster, and more cost-effective for you if you have this information ready before you start.
What if my partner does not agree?
Unfortunately, this process is voluntary and both parties will need to agree to enter into the agreement. Trying to proceed while one party doesn’t agree or doesn’t have full knowledge of the assets will only result in a longer, more expensive process for you.
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.
Can we create our own agreements without using your document?
We don’t recommend it. Creating your own agreement (or using a generic template like LawDepot) is likely to cost you much more in legal fees for certification as the lawyers will usually have to make significant changes and re-drafts to the document. Using Agreeable’s agreement and certifying with our lawyers means that you will save thousands on the total cost, as our lawyers helped us design the template, so they are comfortable with advising you on it.
How can I be sure that your agreement fits our situations?
The best thing to do is ask! If you are unsure about whether this agreement fits your situation, please contact our team by phoning 0800 9 AGREE or enquire through our online form.
Will I need to have my partner or ex-partner with me to complete the questionnaire?
It is preferable that you complete the questionnaire together with your partner or ex-partner, or at least make sure that you both know what you have agreed on and what the agreement will ultimately say. Taking shortcuts on this is likely to increase the cost of certification for you, as the lawyers would need to take more time to ensure that both parties are on the same page.
If that is not possible, we recommend sending the word document to your partner/ex-partner after the questionnaire so they can review the answers and confirm they are correct and accurate. Agreeable’s team is happy to help with making any amendments or changes to the document after the questionnaire, free of charge.
How much does the agreement cost?
The initial agreement costs $450, which includes the questionnaire to do the initial drafting, plus any edits/help you need from our team after the questionnaire. There is a separate cost for certification (which is required to make the agreement legally binding), but we are able to get you a fixed quote and we also have cost estimate tools for our Separation Agreements and our Relationship Property Agreements (prenups) – use these for a $100 discount code on certification!
When do I need an agreement?
It depends on the agreement that you are after.
For a Separation Agreement, the best time to get an agreement is once you are sure the relationship has ended, and once you have had time to discuss the division of your assets.
For a Relationship Property Agreement, the best time to get an agreement is once the relationship becomes serious, and you have been living together for at least a year or so. 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.
What is included in the agreement?
Our agreements can be tailored to suit you and your relationship. It will generally include the dates your relationship started (and/or ended), the types of assets and liabilities each party has, and the details of your property and how it will or would be divided.
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 clauses/details that are necessary to make the agreement legally sound, including a provision for online witnessing and certification. These were designed and ordered by our certifying lawyer panel, so they are a great option for certifying the agreement once it’s drafted.
Where something is not covered, we will work with you after the questionnaire is completed to come to a solution.
Once we've completed the agreement, what happens next?
Firstly, both of you should read the agreement and make sure it generally covers what you want. The questionnaire isn’t perfect, so our team are always just an email or phone call away to help you fix the agreement up, fill in the gaps, and make additions. It’s all covered in the $350 for the agreement.
Then, you’ll need to get it certified for it to be legally binding. This is where two independent lawyers (one for each of you) gives you advice on the effect and implications of your agreement. It is a requirement under NZ law, and Agreeable is the fastest, easiest, most cost-effective way to get it done.
Here’s how we do it:
- our team analyses your agreement, calls each of you briefly, and generates a fixed quote for your certification (usually half the price of using two lawyers you find yourselves).
- once you accept and pay the fixed fee, we introduce each of you to your lawyer, and the lawyers take it from there.
- the lawyers discuss your agreement with you separately before certifying they have given you the advice and signing with you, online.
- it’s all done online, without leaving home, and at a fraction of the cost of the traditional system – leaving you with the same outcome: a certified agreement.
What happens if we purchase the agreement, but decide not to use your service for certification?
It is up to you which lawyers you engage to certify your agreement, and you may be able to use our agreement with another local law firm. However, our lawyers will get you the same outcome at a fraction of the time & cost compared to two non-Agreeable lawyers – this is due to their familiarity with the template, each other, and the innovative online process Agreeable uses to certify.
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. If 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), it is possible to complete our questionnaire in under 30 minutes.
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 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.
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 ask our team for help with, or continue to work on yourselves.
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 help you make changes afterward if the questionnaire doesn’t quite address your situation perfectly.
How does the certification process work?
Note: Certification is only required for Separation Agreements or Relationship Property Agreements. If you are planning to get a Property Sharing Agreement instead, legal advice is recommended but not required by law to make it binding.
Certifying an SA or RPA: Once you’ve built your agreement with us, you can apply for certification on our website (click here for Separation, and click here for Relationship Property). We then analyse your agreement and get a fixed quote from two of our expert lawyers – one for you each of you. The fixed quote means that you’ll know the full cost before committing! Then, if you accept, once we’ve received your payment we will introduce you to your respective lawyers. Note that if only one of you wants to use an Agreeable lawyer, then we can provide just the one!
The lawyers will guide you from there. The lawyers may need to make amendments, negotiate, or do due diligence before proceeding to signing. This is all included in the fixed 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.
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 it necessary to suit your particular situation. This should be expected as part of the advice and certification stage and is part of what ensures that your agreement is yours.
However, extensive redrafts or negotiations about the agreement involving the lawyers is going to risk you going above your fixed quote, and our lawyers may require you to pay on an hourly rate basis (see our Terms & Conditions). Most of our customers avoid this outcome, by negotiating and fully agreeing on everything before the lawyers are involved.
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.
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?
You can do it all from your couch! Just take your agreement file, contact details, and disclosure documents to either of these links to apply for certification with us:
Separation Agreements: https://agreeable.co.nz/certify-the-separation-agreement/
Relationship Property Agreements: https://agreeable.co.nz/certify-the-relationship-property-agreement/
How do I sign the agreement online?
Agreeable uses software which allows you to sign the agreement online. Your lawyer will guide you through it. You sign 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.
How can I be sure that your Deed fits my situation?
If you are unsure about whether one of our Deeds is right for you, please contact us by phoning 0800 9 AGREE or enquire through our online form.
Do I need a Deed of Debt or a Deed of Gift?
A Deed of Debt/Gift is an effective tool for recording the transfer of money or assets, whether as a gift or as a loan.
The type of Deed you need will depend on the arrangement you’re entering into:
1. If you’re giving someone money or property without expecting or requiring anything in return, then you will probably be making a gift. In that case, a Deed of Gift is right for you.
2. If you are making a loan to someone by giving them money that they must pay you back, then you are probably making a loan and a Deed of Debt is right for you.
3. If you are doing something else – like selling something to someone in a one off transaction – you need an agreement. We don’t offer those yet, but watch this space! If you’d like us to connect you with a lawyer who can help, please contact us.
Our Deeds are particularly effective in the following situations:
1. Where you are lending or gifting money to someone to help them purchase a family home.
2. Where you are lending or gifting money or property to a business or trust.
3. Where you are lending or gifting money to a friend.
Our Deeds provide a record of the transfer of money or assets.
What are the legal effects of entering into a Deed of Debt/Gift?
If you are concerned regarding legal implications of entering a Deed of Debt/Gift, please get in contact with us by phoning 0800 9 AGREE or enquire through our website.
What do I need before purchasing a Deed of Debt/Gift?
Please have all relevant information before beginning. We suggest that before you sit down to purchase or complete your Deed, you make sure you have details of the assets/money you wish to loan or gift and information relating to any other agreed terms such as interest (for Deeds of Debt) and date of transfer. You will also need information about the people involved.
You can still complete the Deed 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!
Do I need legal advice before purchasing a Deed of Debt/Gift?
We recommend seeking legal advice before entering any Deed of Debt/Gift, as they can have tax or financial consequences. If you are at all unsure about the effect of a Deed, you should seek legal advice before you sign anything.
How does your process work?
When you purchase a Deed via our website, you will be directed to an online questionnaire that will help us gather all the relevant information and input into your Deed. Once you have completed the questionnaire, our system will produce a fully editable, downloadable word document, which you can then adjust to suit your needs. If you have any questions or issues, our friendly admin team are available to assist.
What if I do not own a credit card? How can I purchase the Deed of Debt/Gift from your website?
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 Deed of Debt/Gift?
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 experience, but you can use your mobile phone if you have to.
How long does it take to draft the Deed of Debt/Gift?
It should take between 5 to 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire for either Deed.
What is included in the Deed of Debt/Gift?
Our Deeds can be tailored to suit your needs. Generally speaking, your Deed needs to include the amount/asset being gifted or loaned, any interest attaching to the amount being loaned and how that interested will be paid (for Deeds of Debt), and the date of transfer of the money/assets. You will also need the names and location of each party.
Do I need to complete the Deed of Debt/Gift questionnaire in one sitting?
The short answer is no, but it can help. In saying that, after purchasing the Deed 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 it.
We completed the agreement. What happens next?
You are not required to seek formal legal advice before you sign a Deed. However, we recommend seeking legal advice before signing as this will help you understand the consequences of your Deed.