Ellen I would like advice on what my rights are now that I am divorced ...at the time I was very depressed I was unable

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Customer: Hello Ellen I would like advice on what my rights are now that I am divorced ...at the time I was very depressed I was unable to afford legal advice ...my ex husband got me to sign a document which gave him all our properties in NZ..
JA: Was the property purchased during the marriage?
Customer: yes I was married for 25 years ..3 children ..now adults
JA: Were any marital funds used for the mortgage or property improvements?
Customer: we purchased everything together 50/50
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have been living in Perth for 10 years ..3 out of the 10 I was still married ..I have now returnrd back to NZ to be closer to my daughters ..I have been struggling financially so that has stopped me from getting a lawyer ..I can't remember signing anything he gave me ..thats how unwell I was
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 9 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

How long ago did you separate and when did you sign over the properties? Unfortunately there are time limits for making claims against relationship property, and I can advise better with the dates and times

Customer
2014 we divorced
The reason I haven't pursued is because of lack of funds ..at the time of our break up I was in and out of hospital I have records both here and NZ as proof
Customer
I worked my whole marriage except for when I was in hospital 2009
Customer
basically it's ok for your husband to take advantage of your mental state at the time of separation...25 years worked every day ..he has the properties..I still struggle to make ends meet ..how is that Justice ?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Under New Zealand law you have 12 months after the divorce to make a claim. But if you signed a property agreement and you were unwell, it may be possible to overturn this, although not easy. Did you get independent legal advice when you signed?

Customer
I had no legal advice I was unwell
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The transactions could be set aside but the delay in applying is your most difficult issue
Customer
I divorced in Australia we had 3 properties which apparently I signed over to my ex husband..he still has them ..all were purchased together of which I had a 50% share as an executive of the estate
Customer
I understand but I have been working 3 jobs barely making ends meet in Australia..I have just returned after 10 years ..3 years of that I was still married..he left me with a few belongings
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You would need to get good evidence as to your ill health and reasons for the delay in making an application which would not be easy or pleasantly
Customer
Due to my depression I was mentally unable to find the strength to battle him and work ft ..I have medical records to proove I was too unwell to make decisions
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That would need to be explained in full detail
Customer
I made an attempt on my life so obviously it is very difficult for me to
Customer
the hospital has all my records..also in NZ
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Are you strong enough to go through this?
Customer
Australia. ..the reason I am applying now is because mentally and physically I am 100% healthy
Customer
I have 3 adult children...I deserve 50 % of what I gave up ..married at 22 for 25 years 3 children..worked every day I was married except when in hospital
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

How will your ex husband react? Do your children support this?
Customer
I've been on my own 6 years in another country..I'm strong enough
Customer
Hes married I really don't care ..he left me homeless and depressed in another country
My children will be ok as long as I am I have spoken to them
Customer
I don't think he should be entitled to everything..its principle
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It will be very hard to break through the delay period. Even though you were unwell, the chances are not good. So you would need to be prepared for this to be unsuccessful
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is unfair, but the delay makes this hard
Customer
I understand that's to his benefit but is it possible?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Possible but very difficult

Customer
It will dredge up a lot of the past but there is definitely proof that I was in no position or had no access to legal counsel it must stand for something
I worked 3 jobs to survive in Australia
While him and his new wife flew to Europe to visit my oldest daughter
If I was a criminal I would get free access...I'm not I just want justice
Customer
We bought the houses together for our retirement...is it worth a try
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I can see the injustice caused but getting the court to accept the delay would be very difficult but it’s possible you could but it would be expensive in legal fees
Customer
my delema is time and money
I'm 54 I don't know if I have either
Customer
Thankyou I appreciate your advice
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Unhelpfully the Family Court has a high filing fee to start the process-$700 although if you plead poverty you can get this waived

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