The Family Court aims to help people sort out their own issues and to ensure the interests of children are represented.
Providing families with help doesn't always involve actually going to court. The Court may first recommend or provide other services, depending on the nature of the problem. For example, many issues around the care of children after the parents separate can be resolved through attending a Parenting Through Separation (PTS) course or using Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).
You can call 0800 2 AGREE (0800 224 733) if you have any queries about Family Court matters.
What does the Family Court do?
The Family Court deals with applications:
The Ministry of Justice website also has a guide to the Family Court process, if an application has been made about the welfare of a child.
Where is the nearest Family Court?
Family Courts are located in District Courts and have the same contact details as the District Court. You can search for a District Court anywhere in New Zealand, on the Ministry of Justice directory.
What will it cost to apply to the Family Court?
There is no fee for a protection order. Otherwise, the fees will vary depending on the application. You’ll find a full list of Family Court fees on the Ministry of Justice website.
If you can’t afford to pay the fees associated with a Family Court hearing, find out whether you are eligible for a fee waiver or for family legal aid. More information about applying for legal aid is on our Legal Aid page.