Staying Out of Court

Our lawyers are experienced in appearing in Court on a range of family law issues. However, coming to see a lawyer neednít mean you have to go to Court.

We recognise that most people donít want to go to Court and that it's beneficial for families to resolve their family law issues themselves as much as possible. To this end, when you come to see us we will identify for you all the available options for resolving your family law problems and will work hard with you to help you stay of Court - either through negotiation or through the options discussed below.

Options available to you to avoid court include:

  • Mediation 
  • Collaborative Law
  • Counselling


Increasingly, Mediation is being seen as a successful option for helping resolve family law disputes outside of Court. Mediation involves a neutral person (the Mediator) guiding you through a structured process to resolve the family law problem you are facing.

Mediation is voluntary and can be:

  • quicker and cheaper than litigation
  • less damaging to relationships
  • lead to legally binding agreements

To find out more about Mediation, click here. 

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice is relatively young in New Zealand but it is a process that has been effectively helping families in the US, UK and Australia resolve disputes for many years now.

The Collaborative Law Process:

  • is about working together as a team with your respective lawyers
  • involves agreeing not to take your dispute to Court
  • can include other communication, child and financial professionals
  • can be quicker and cheaper than litigation
  • is less damaging to relationships
  • can lead to legally binding agreements

To find out more about Collaborative Law, click here.


Counsellors are often used to help parties resolve issues about the future care arrangements for their children. When it first receives an application for a parenting order, the Family Court will, in a lot of cases, refer the parties to counselling.

We can advise you about the suitability of counselling for resolving your family law problem and can assist you to access state funded or private counselling without the need for Family Court proceedings.