Helping Kiwi families

Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances, we’re here to help you and your children.

Family Dispute Resolution is for people who are unable to agree on care and contact arrangements for their children. Every year the Family Dispute service helps thousands of parents and carers in New Zealand reach lasting resolutions. And that, means thousands more happy children.

Often we help parents or caregivers who are separated, or in the process of separating. Sometimes members of the wider whānau are involved; and sometimes the dispute is between parents and grandparents.

Whoever you are, the aim of our service is to help you reach agreements that are in the best interests of your children, without the time, expense and stress of going to court.

“I feel like I tried so hard for so many years to make things work with my husband, but we were unhappy and angry all the time. Even the police got involved. My daughter was miserable.

When we finally separated, and I heard about FDR and Parenting through Separation I didn’t want to do it. I thought ‘oh, they’ll just try to tell me how to be a parent’ but I’m so glad I gave it a go.

It gives you the tools to still be the parent that you want to be even though you’re going through difficult times.

They really help you put everything else aside and focus on the kids. It helped more than I could ever imagine it would.

Now my daughter spends time with me and her dad, we have clear agreements in place and we can focus on just communicating about the kids, nothing else.”

“I didn’t initiate this FDR thing, and I was pretty annoyed at first to be honest. My youngest kids’ dad has never really been part of their lives – he moved overseas when they were babies. It was my parents who started it!

I’ve never been very close with them and a year or so ago we moved to a town a few hours away so we never really saw them either. But they and my ex’s parents got together after deciding they wanted to spend more time with their mokos. I was furious at first, but agreed to the FDR process. I’m glad I did.

The mediator helped me realise that my children were missing out. Through using the Child’s Voice service, I realised they wanted to see their grandparents. 

These days we’re still not close, but I can see how much my kids love them and they love my kids. We have an agreement in place which means they see them about once a month and the kids call them on FaceTime. It’s worked out for the best.”

“I’m just happy we didn’t have to drag the kids through the courts. We’d been separated a while and things were getting nasty. I got shut out of my kids lives.

I don’t think a judge and lawyers would have worked for us; they wouldn’t know anything about my kids, or me and our situation. But the mediator got to know both of us and our kids too.

We actually came away with a really fair agreement. The boys stay with me every second weekend and every Wednesday and Thursday night. We even agreed on what schools they would go to and how things work for birthdays and Christmas. We talked about what would happen if me or my ex got another partner too.

The mediator didn’t take sides, she just kept us focused on the boys and what would be good for them. We should have done it sooner to be fair.”


Do you have a dispute?

We’ll help to determine what services are right for you and your family.