We have been assisting clients in resolving their disputes about children for almost 100 years. We understand that every family is different. We ensure the solutions we provide to issues about children are tailored to the particular needs of each family. We advise on all matters relating to children, including care / custody and guardianship matters.
About Our Care of Children Services
When parents separate, often their biggest worry is how the arrangements for their children are going to work. This can include matters relating to how often each parent cares for a child and how various decisions about a child are going to be made.
If you are able to agree on care arrangements for your child on separation, you then need to consider whether a verbal agreement is sufficient or whether you would like a more formal agreement in place such as a parenting agreement or parenting order.
If you are unable to agree on any matter relating to you child, it is best to obtain legal advice to find out what your rights and obligations are. Some parents also find attending Family Dispute Resolution and a Parenting Through Separation programme to be of assistance. Click here : https://www.justice.govt.nz/family/care-of-children/ to find out more.
If your matter is urgent, there are also steps you may be able to take to obtain a Court order on an urgent basis.
We can assist in advising you of your legal position and also represent you in Court, if required. If you would like assistance, please contact one of our family lawyers below.
Frequently Asked Questions
When parents cannot agree, upon separation, about the care arrangements for their children this may require the assistance of a family lawyer. Some parents are able to work towards a parenting agreement (which does not require Court intervention) whereas other parents require the Court's assistance to obtain Parenting Orders. Even when there is no conflict some parents prefer to go through the Court system as a Parenting Order is binding on both parties. When applying for a Parenting Order you must file an affidavit to accompany your application. These can be prepared by a family lawyer to make the process easier. A filing fee is payable to the Family Court when applying for a Parenting Order.
Where a child lives is a guardianship decision which both parents need to make together.
If you are the parent wishing to relocate and you do not receive permission from the other parent to do so you will need to make an application to the Family Court to obtain permission to take the children. The parent wanting the relocation will need to satisfy the Court that the move will be in the best interests of the children, particularly if existing care arrangements with the other parent will need to be significantly changed as a result of the proposed move.
If you are a parent wishing to relocate bear in mind that applications to the Family Court can take many months to process.
Both parents of a child/children are its guardians and parents should act jointly when making decisions about issues such as where the child lives, where he/she goes to school, what religion he/she practices and whether he/she should be given certain medical treatments. Guardianship does not cease when a parent does not have the physical care of a child.
Day to day care involves making arrangements for a child's care on a daily basis.
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