Changes to the Family Court system will allow parents and spouses access to legal advice and representation in the Court. Lawyers will now be able to help clients for non-urgent applications. This reverses the situation since 2014, when changes were made to exclude lawyers from all but urgent Family Court cases.

However due to the Covid-19 situation, and the lack of funds at this point, measures to help separating couples (or those with childcare disputes) obtain better access to out-of-Court ways to settle their disputes have been delayed.

The Ministry of Justice found that if a case goes to mediation, the average time to settle the dispute is 37 days.  If the dispute goes to Court the average is 268 days to settle.

An independent report highlighted the cost of mediation services, and the lack of free counselling sessions, so these changes were delayed.

The Government has confirmed it will eventually fund all recommendations in the independent report so funded counselling and mediation may be available in the future.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Shaun Cousins
Family Lawyer

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.