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Family Works Resolution Service

Relationship breakdowns, family separation or divorce is one of the most difficult things a family and 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.


Family Works Resolution Service

Family Works’ Resolution Service, also known as Family Dispute Resolution, helps families reach agreement on parenting arrangements after (or during) a separation or divorce. The mediation service has been designed to support parents and/or guardians to resolve conflict without the need to go to court. This makes things much less stressful for everyone involved, and also frees up the Family Court.


Family Justice Reforms

In the past when families and whānau couldn’t agree on childcare arrangements after a separation or divorce, they went to the Family Court. This was a stressful time for the parents, carers and especially the children.

In March 2014 the Ministry of Justice introduced the Family Justice Reforms. Those reforms put in place more support for parents, guardians, family and whānau to reach out-of-court agreements about care arrangements for their children.

The approach aims to reduce stress on families by avoiding, wherever possible, the delays, conflict and expense that court proceedings can entail. It also ensures the court – when it is needed – is focussed on vulnerable people and more serious matters, for example, families where domestic violence is present.

Family Works has been selected by the Ministry of Justice to support this initiative and provide these services.


Family Works approach

At Family Works, our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to be the best place in the world to grow up; a place where all children are safe, families are strong and communities are connected.

Family Works’ services focus on the family and whānau, rather than individuals, because we know that when families, whānau and communities are strong and resilient, our children will be safe.

Our trained Family Works mediators will help the adults involved in the dispute or separation to focus on their children’s needs when discussing parenting arrangements, and will provide parents with the tools to help them resolve any parenting disputes that may arise in the future.


How does Family Dispute Resolution work?

Download these documents to read about how family dispute resolution and mediation can work for you: English  |  Te Reo

Family Works highly recommends you complete a free Parenting through Separation course before taking part in Family Works Resolution Service mediation. The parenting programme gives you practical tools and information to help you focus on what’s best for your children when you separate. You can read more about Parenting through Separation here.

You can register for Family Works Resolution Service, or Family Dispute Resolution, mediation before or after attending Parenting through Separation. Following the registration, a mediator will meet with all parties involved in the dispute individually for a preliminary assessment. Sometimes your mediator will refer you to preparatory coaching or to a Parenting through Separation course. The mediation process is different for every family. However, your Family Works mediator will help you make decisions that are in the best interests of your children. Read more about the process here.