The Ministry of Justice has introduced new processes for parents when they are resolving disputes about their children. Before parents can apply to the court regarding a dispute about care, or contact arrangements, or guardianship matters; parents must first complete two out-of-court processes. They are:
1. Attend a ‘parenting through separation programme‘
2. Attend a mediation service called Family Dispute Resolution.
Once parents have completed the two out-of-court processes the parties can then apply to the Family Court for a Court Order.
There are some situations where a parent will not have to attend the out-of-court processes before making an application to the court. A parent can ask the Family Court to take urgent action about ‘care of children matters’ where there are safety concerns and a delay may put the parent and/or the child or children at risk.
If you are unsure whether or not your circumstances would permit an urgent application to the court, call us. We can help you make the right decision.
Although the Family Court has changed, we can help you navigate your way through both the out-of-court process and getting your matter into court.