Practice notes & procedures

Practice notes cover many topics. They can contain guidelines on how a case must be managed, from the filing of the first document that starts proceedings through to disposition (the end of the case). They can also outline how professional services must be managed.

Family Court caseflow management practice notes

Family Court Caseflow Management [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Applications under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 [PDF, 109 KB]

Joint protocol Ministry of Justice and Department of Child, Youth and Family, 1 July 2000 [PDF, 79 KB]

Intellectual Disability Act 2003: Reviews, applications for orders and representation [PDF, 26 KB]

Hague Convention cases – New Zealand Family Court guidelines [PDF, 27 KB]

Hague Convention cases: Mediation process – removal, retention and access [PDF, 32 KB]

Restrictions on the Filing of Certain Documents [PDF, 96 KB]

Electronic filing in the Auckland Region [PDF, 104 KB]

Family Court professional services practice notes

Lawyer for the child: selection, appointment and other matters [PDF, 610 KB]

Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 (Selection and review of 'Counsel for intended care recipient' list) [PDF, 33 KB]

Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act (Selection and Review of 'Counsel for the Subject Person' List) [PDF, 33 KB]

Children's supervised contact [PDF, 110 KB]

Specialist report writers [PDF, 908 KB]

Best practice guidelines

Guidelines establish expected standards of practice in the Family Court. Guidelines may be issued in cases where it is not appropriate to issue a practice note

Lawyer for the Child – Best Practice Guidelines [PDF, 304 KB]

Counsel-led mediation [PDF, 312 KB] – these guidelines provide guidance on the qualifications criteria, application process and expectations for counsel-to-assist-the-court appointed to conduct counsel-led mediation.

Guidelines relating to the appointment of psychologists and lawyer for the child in cases related to the Hague Convention [PDF, 34 KB]

Guidelines for Counsel for Subject Person Appointed Under Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 [PDF, 94 KB]

Guideline: Family Court counsellors [PDF, 302 KB]


A protocol is an agreement between the Family Court or Ministry of Justice and another government organisation or agency. It sets out what should be done in certain circumstances, perhaps in an unusual situation where there is no other precedent or existing process for particular agencies to work together. The protocol then provides a basis on which future similar issues must be managed.

Protocol: children's medical emergencies (guardianship applications to the Family Court) – this protocol allows the Family Court to act in the interests of a child by making them a ward of the Family Court for the purpose of authorising medical treatment, such as a blood transfusion.

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