Our family lawyers in Auckland specialize in legal matters related to family and domestic relationships. We assist individuals and families with various legal issues that arise within the context of family life. Some of the primary reasons for consulting a family lawyer might include divorce, child custody and support, property division, or adoption. Our law firm in New Zealand offers services provided by experienced family lawyers who specialize in handling these cases.
Family Court in New Zealand
The Family Court in New Zealand is a specialized court that deals exclusively with family law matters and disputes. It operates under the Family Court Act 1980 and its subsequent amendments.
The Family Court handles: divorce proceedings, including the dissolution of marriages and the associated legal matters such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child custody and support. It also addresses disputes related to: child custody, guardianship, visitation, and parenting orders, with a strong emphasis on the best interests of the child.
If you’re facing a complex family court case, it’s strongly advisable to consider hiring a qualified New Zealand family lawyer to protect your rights and navigate the legal process effectively.
Separation in New Zealand
You and your spouse must have been separated for at least 2 years before you can apply for a divorce. During this separation period, you can live together for up to 3 months while attempting to reconcile.
Although not required, it is advisable to create a separation agreement, especially if you have children or shared property. A separation agreement outlines how you’ll divide assets, manage finances, and handle issues related to children during the separation period. Our Auckland family lawyers can provide you with legal advice about separation and help you draft the agreement.
Spouses need to agree on the custody arrangements for any children involved. If they cannot agree, there is a legal process to follow to resolve child custody disputes, for which it is advised to hire a New Zealand lawyer.
To initiate the divorce process, you must apply to the Family Court for a dissolution order. In your application, you will need to prove that you have been separated for at least 2 years. Additionally, at least one spouse must ordinarily live in New Zealand. We have a team of family court lawyers in Auckland that can file this application for you.
After you submit your application, the Family Court will review it. If everything is in order, the court will issue a dissolution order, officially ending your marriage.
Even in relatively amicable divorces, the legal process can be complex. An attorney in New Zealand can help ensure that all necessary legal requirements are met, and paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
Family Court statistics
Family Court provides some interesting statistics connected to Family Law in New Zealand. These include divorce applications, child custody disputes, protection orders, and other family-related matters:
- In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, there were 6% more cases where individuals had to defend himself/herself in court, compared to the previous year;
- During the same period, there was an important increase of 23% in the number of cases that got resolved or finished in court;
- 6,521 applications were filed in the Canterbury region. You can contact our family lawyers in Christchurch, NZ for assistance in this area;
- 8,448 out of applications to Family Court were granted for dissolution of marriage.