Family Dispute Resolution Services

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/guardian and other appropriate people to ensure everyone has their say.

We may also recommend those involved in the dispute attend preparatory coaching to help them make best use of the 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.

Referrals for FDR are via Family Works Central who refer Southland cases to the local Family Works designated person.

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