Jurisdiction

The Family Courts are a division of the District Courts.

The Family Courts provide New Zealanders with help with family problems. The courts deal with a wide range of “family” relationships, from children who have not yet been born through to older people who are in need of care and protection.

The Family Courts hear cases concerning adoption, child abduction, separation, relationship property, wills, domestic violence, mental health, surrogacy and child support. Wherever possible, the courts aim to help people resolve their own problems by way of counselling, conciliation and mediation.

Although the Family Courts are essentially a private forum, in that they deal with very personal and sensitive matters, the courts are still a part of our justice system. Family Court decisions must be as open to the public as possible so that the court can be accountable.

For more information about the Family Court and their related processes, please visit the Ministry of Justice’s family justice website.