This section provides information on matters relating to the care of children. This includes parenting during a break up, parenting plans/orders and guardianship. See the Care of children process overview map. [PDF, 1.8 MB]

If you are experiencing family violence, find out about help available here: Family violence section

In the Care of Children section:

  • Parenting through a break up

    If you and your ex-partner have agreed on care arrangements for your children, you can make a parenting plan without involving the courts. You can also find advice about talking to and making decisions about your children during a break up.

  • Resolving parenting disagreements

    If you need help to reach agreement about how you’ll care for your children, there are mediation services available that don't involve going to court. The Family Court can make decisions for you if these other attempts to agree are unsuccessful.

  • Parenting and guardianship

    The Family Court can help with guardianship matters. This includes who can be a guardian and sorting out disputes between guardians.

  • Stop a child leaving New Zealand

    Get help from the courts if you believe your child could be taken out of New Zealand without your permission. This is called an Order Preventing Removal.

  • Get a child returned to New Zealand

    The Ministry of Justice may be able to help get your child returned to New Zealand if they’ve been taken overseas or kept there without your permission.

  • Care of Children Process Overview Map

    Follow the process map to sort out your child's care arrangements.

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