How can Kiwilaw help you? These are some examples.

Listening to you (that’s number 1)

Helping you to:

  • understand what’s important for your children, and what the law says
  • assess safety issues
  • keep yourself and your children safe from abuse and violence, including psychological abuse
  • apply for legal aid 
  • make an urgent application to the Family Court, to keep you or your children safe, or to get your children back, or to enforce an existing order
  • explore options with the other parent
  • make your own parenting plan for your children
  • negotiate with other family members about what is best for your children
  • update your parenting skills
  • get the best outcome from mediation/Family Dispute Resolution 
  • express your views without making matters worse
  • present your case in the Family Court – drafting documents, affidavit evidence, attending case conferences, preparing submissions, questioning other parties and witnesses, explaining your position to the Judge
  • obtain relevant information from other agencies and other parties
  • understand the role of the children’s lawyer (if one is appointed)
  • present relevant information to a specialist report writer (if one is appointed)
  • scrutinise, interpret, and respond to a specialist report that you may disagree with

Explaining to you:

  • the orders that can be obtained in the Family Court
  • what ‘Family Dispute Resolution’ is all about, and why it is usually good to participate 
  • practical procedural problems in the Family Court
  • what the Court is likely to decide, if you cannot sort out the issues yourselves
  • what costs you may have to pay in the Family Court, in addition to legal fees
  • the effect on your children of ongoing risks, especially parental conflict and unresolved issues about the children’s living arrangements
  • the significance of specialist reports obtained by the Court in your case

Referring you to other people who can help with specific issues, often at less expense than legal fees

Access to DVDs, leaflets, articles, book chapters, and other helpful resources (we have a small library for client use)

Providing information and advice in writing, so you can review it later

Writing up any agreements that are reached

Liaising with your children’s lawyer (if one is appointed by the Court)

Liaising with the other parent’s lawyer, or with the other parent if they do not have a lawyer

Representing you in the Family Court, and if necessary in the High Court (if you or the other party appeal, or apply for judicial review)

 

Key point: The more you ask us to do, the more it will cost. However, if you cut corners at the beginning and do not then get an early successful outcome, it may be more expensive to fix in the long run.