Legal Services

Parenting, Guardianship, CYFS

We can help you work out the care arrangements for your children when you separate, by recording the arrangement in a consent document. If agreement is not possible we can assist you with legal advice (FLAS), referrals to Parenting through separation programmes and Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) mediation. In the instance that agreement is not possible, or matters are urgent, we are able to assist in making applications to the Family Court and assist you through the Family Court Process.

Unless there are special circumstances, both parents are legal guardians of children. When parents are unable to agree on important matters like schooling, religion or if one parent wishes to move (relocate) with the child to a different town or country, we can assist with advice including making the necessary applications to the Family Court.

We can assist you understand your rights in matters relating to the Ministry of Vulnerable Children (MVCOT), especaily if MVCOT have taken or are intending to take your children and place them in their care. We are able to assist with applications and evidence that may be necessary when MVCOT have taken legal steps to remove children from your care.

If you are a caregiver for a child through MVCOT, we can assist you in applications for permanent care or any other legal or Court issues that may arise.

We are able to assist if there is uncertainty around the identity of a child’s father by arranging DNA tests or take the necessary steps to have the issues determined by the Family Court.

The Adoption Act 1955 provides a process to establish a permanent legally binding relationship between adopting parents and a child. We are able to advise you on the following:

  • Approval as a potential adoptive parent through CYFS
  • The preparation and processing of consent documents for the birth parents to sign
  • Placement certificates
  • Filing an application to adopt
  • Court processes

Domestic violence
Domestic violence can be carried out by anyone you are in a domestic or close relationship with. It could be a partner, ex-partner, carer, friend, flatmate or family member. We are able to provide legal advice around implications of domestic violence and the Domestic Violence Act 1995. We are apply for urgent applications (without notice) to the Family Court, including a protection order, maintenance order, occupation order, tenancy order and ancillary furniture order. Urgent applications can be applied for if you or a child of yours is at risk of harm or if a delay in filing an application would cause undue hardship.

We have a wealth of experience in the area of domestic violence and are able to provide advice about the Family Court processes including appearances at the Family Court if your application is defended. We are able to also provide advice on what happens and possible steps to take if the protection order is breached.

Information supplied by the Ministry of Justice can be found at violence.

We can assist you if you are separating from your husband or partner. A dissolution of marriage can be applied for once you have lived apart for 2 years or more. An application is required which is able to be completed without the need for legal advice, however we are able to assist complete and file the forms, including arranging for the documents to be formally served.

We are able to provide advice of your rights relating to financial arrangements due to separation, including child support, government benefits and spousal maintenance. We are able to assist with negotiation of these matters or if necessary file appropriate applications in the Family Court.

Dividing property
Once separated, relationship property will need to be divided. We can advise you about the implications of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and assist you through the negotiation process to work towards an amicable agreement. Once agreement is reached, we are able to draft and circulate the appropriate documentation to complete division of relationship property. If agreement is unable to be reached, we can assist with Court proceedings if required.

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