At the course, you’ll get practical advice to help you understand and manage the needs of your children after separation. Parents and/or guardians attend separate courses, so that everyone has space to freely express themselves without the other person being there.
The Parenting Through Separation course can also help grandparents and other family and whānau members who may be involved in caring for your children.
Most people need to have completed a Parenting Through Separation course within the last two years before asking the Family Court to decide a parenting matter. You’ll receive a completion certificate after the course, which you'll need to show the court as proof of your attendance.
On this page:
Parenting Through Separation is a great first step when you're working out how to care for your children after separating. You also have to attend this course if you want the Family Court to help with parenting matters later on. The course covers:
This course may be all you need to sort out how you and your ex-partner will share the care of your children. If you still can’t agree, you can take part in Family Dispute Resolution with an impartial family mediator. The Parenting Through Separation course helps you prepare for Family Dispute Resolution if you need it.
Sometimes taking part in the Parenting Through Separation course won’t be right for you. For example, you might need to apply for an urgent Parenting Order because:
In any of these cases, the court may decide you don't need to attend the course.
The course is held in small groups and led by an experienced presenter (a facilitator).
The course takes four hours, which may involve either one full session or two 2-hour sessions (depending on the provider). A support person can attend with you if the person running the course agrees.
An important part of the programme is helping you work out what’s best for your children – based on their age, their usual routines and their relationship with their wider family or whānau. To do this, the course covers:
The course includes opportunities for discussion, but you can choose how much you say about yourself and your separation experience.