Walter Sawyer v Samantha Wynman [2016] NZFC 2374

Published 31 July 2016

Variation of parenting order — Care of Children Act 2004 — day-to-day care — additional guardianship — directions conference — Family Courts Rules 2002, r 416Z. This was a directions conference in respect of two children. The Judge made a final parenting order that the father have day-to-day care and that the mother’s contact be supervised upon terms agreed by the parties. The step-mother’s application for additional guardianship was set down for a formal proof hearing. A previous parenting order had given the mother day-to-day care of the children. Despite that order, the children were effectively living with the father after concerns were raised about the mother’s violent domestic relationship and parenting. Child, Youth and Family Services and the refuge became involved at the last contact session between mother and children after a particularly violent incident. The mother took no steps in this matter, and in making the final parenting order the Judge relied on jurisdiction under rule 416Z to transfer the directions conference to a hearing. **Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.