Family Works Central

Making Aotearoa New Zealand
the best place to raise children
in flourishing families

Family Dispute Resolution

Relationship breakdowns, family separation or divorce is one of the most difficult things a family/whānau can face.

Parents or guardians may disagree on things such as day-to-day care, contact arrangements, choosing a school or child care and what happens with the family home. This can be distressing for everyone, particularly children/tamariki.

How Family Works can help

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) helps families reach agreement on parenting arrangements after a separation or divorce. The mediation service, funded by the Ministry of Justice, has been designed to support parents and guardians resolve conflict without the need to go to court. This makes things much less stressful for everyone involved, especially the children, and also frees up the Family Court to handle the most serious cases, such as those where domestic violence is an issue.

The Family Dispute Resolution process

During the Family Dispute Resolution process your Family Works mediator will meet with you, your child’s other parent or guardian and other family members to ensure everyone has their say.

Often we will also recommend those involved in the dispute attend preparatory counselling. The counselling helps you make sure you’re putting your children’s needs first, and work out parenting arrangement options to discuss during mediation.

The mediator will help you make decisions that are in the best interests of your children. They will not try to get you back together, make judgements about who is right or wrong, or make decisions for you. Instead, they will focus everyone involved on making decisions about how you will look after your children and when you’ll see your children when you’re not looking after them.

The mediator will also help you work out other things such as pick up and drop off arrangements, where your children spend the holidays, how you’ll handle birthdays and other celebrations, where the children go to school, their surnames and how their religion or cultural beliefs will be instilled.

More information about FDR

For more information about Family Works Central’s Family Dispute Resolution services:

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