Family Court Review
The Ministry of Justice is undertaking a review of the Family Court system to make it more “sustainable, efficient, cost-effective and responsive to those vulnerable adults and children who need access to its services” and is seeking public input.
For more information on how to make a submission visit the Ministry of Justice website.
The Families Commission has a range of research papers on family relationships, and it strongly supports the review as an opportunity to ensure that the Family Court process is enhanced, to put the needs of children at the centre and to help couples maintain their parenting relationship during and following separation.
Our research has shown that parents who are able to cooperate and put their children's needs first are more satisfied with their care and financial arrangements than those who have arrangements imposed on them by the court. Outcomes for children are also improved. Any changes to the formal court process should therefore encourage this cooperation and minimise prolonged and adversarial litigation.
The Commission has collated a list of relevant reports and resources to support those who wish to make submissions. Submissions close 29 February 2012.
Ministry of Justice Resources
Family Court Statistics: an overview of Family Court Statistics in New Zealand 2004 to 2008
Family Court Statistics in New Zealand in 2006 and 2007 (April 2009)
Family Court Statistics 2004 (February 2006)
Parenting Hearings Programme Pilot Evaluation Report (September 2009)
Evaluation of 'Parenting Through Separation' Programme (July 2009)
The Waitakere and Manukau Family Violence Courts: An evaluation summary (August 2008)
Family Mediation - Evaluation of the Pilot (April 2007)
Papers and reports
Openness in the Family Courts (October 2004)
Government Response to Law Commission Report on "Dispute Resolution in the Family Court" (October 2003)
A Statistical View of Guardianship Act Cases (September 2003)
Characteristics associated with the early identification of complex Family Court custody cases (September 2003)
Guardianship, Custody and Access: Maori Perspectives and Experiences (August 2002)
Family Court of New Zealand Resources
Speeches by Principal Family Court Judge
The Family Court- Beyond 30 Years (August 2011) [PDF, 273Kb]
Mediation in the Family Court: Where to Now? (February 2011) [PDF, 418Kb]
Why the Family Court needs an Early Intervention Process (April 2010) [PDF, 64.2Kb]
The Child's Voice in Process: Which Way is Forward? (May 2009) [PDF, 53Kb]
Family Court Caseflow Management Practice Note (March 2011)
Australian Family Law Reforms Resources
Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms
Evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms (December 2009)
Evaluation of the Family Relationships Centre and Legal Assistance Services Partnerships (March 2011) [PDF, 5.35MB]
Research into shared care parenting arrangements since the 2006 family law reforms
Shared Care Parenting Arrangements since the 2006 Family Law Reforms report (May 2010) [PDF, 3.10MB]
Research into family violence since the 2006 family law reforms
Family Violence and Family Law in Australia Volume 1 (April 2010) [PDF, 3MB]
Family Violence and Family Law in Australia Volume 2 (April 2010) [PDF, 5.93MB]
Research into post-separation living arrangements: patterns and development outcomes for infants and children
UK Family Law Reform Resources
Executive summary and recommendations (March 2011) [PDF, 130Kb]
Family Justice Review: interim report (March 2011) [PDF 2.30MB]