Family Court and its Processes

Beginning in April 2014, the New Zealand Family Court underwent a root and branch overhaul – these changes representing the biggest shift in the New Zealand Family Court since the Family Court was established in its own right in 1980.

Gone is almost all Family Court counselling, in court based mediation and the automatic appointment of lawyer for child, and in its place is a suite of new Out of Court services, the centrepiece of which is called Family Dispute Resolution more commonly known as FDR.

The centrepiece of FDR is the introduction of Family Mediation, preceded by firstly assessment of the parties and the circumstances for the suitability for mediation and then preparation for mediation.

Anyone who wants help with any matters relating to day-to-day care, contact, choice of schools – in fact anything which traditionally would have been looked at initially in Family Court counselling, in court mediation, litigation or finally a Family Court hearing, in almost all circumstances now needs to access FDR before an application can even be lodged at the Family Court.

A number of practitioners from Millennium Consulting who traditionally have offered a wide range of Family Court services are now able to offer these new services to support separating and separated Mums, Dads and other family members.

Before any application is filed at the Family Court, Millennium Consulting can offer FDR with Timothy McMichael, and where FDR is not able to bring about full understandings, and where application is subsequently filed in the Family Court, and when a Family Court judge decides to appoint a psychologist to write a report, Sarah Calvert, Kate Burke and Eileen Swan are able to provide these services.

In addition to offering these Family Court services Gail, Sarah, Kate, Eileen and Timothy are all able to offer couple and relationship therapy, plus sex therapy (Timothy only) and work with children (Gail, Sarah, Megan and Eileen only).

Please contact any of our practitioners listed above if you’d like more information on how to journey through the new Family Justice/Family Court system with Millennium Consulting. Millennium Consulting has a number of useful pamphlets about the Family Court and its processes, just call in and ask our staff for them.