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
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.
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.
The Family Court can help with guardianship matters. This includes who can be a guardian and sorting out disputes between guardians.
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.
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.
Follow the process map to sort out your child's care arrangements.
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