Articles

Family Matters

New Zealand is in Lockdown… But I want to leave? Separation During Lockdown

If you had intended to separate from your spouse before the lockdown, or if you are one of the anticipated many, whilst confined with your other half have realised you do want to separate. The current Covid-19 lockdown might have you thinking separation is not an option available to you for the foreseeable future, but that is not the case.
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Covid-19 Lockdown: Shared Parenting in Uncertain Times

The urgent steps taken within 48 hours to move into Covid-19 Alert Level 4 has left many parents scrambling to work out how this impacts their Shared Care Agreements and Parenting Orders during lockdown. Parents are doing their best to navigate these issues at a time of heightened concern and stress. The main guidance issued by the Principle Family Court Judge, Judge Moran, is for parents to make decisions that are in the best interests of their children. Parents are reminded the primary intent for this lockdown is to prevent further spread of Covid-19 within our communities. Staying home will save lives but this may mean some hard adjustments and sacrifices by parents in shared care and parenting arrangements.
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How are the Courts Operating During the Covid-19 Lockdown?

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Right Honourable Helen Winkelmann, has assured the legal profession and members of the public that the Courts will be operational during all Covid-19 alert levels, including lockdown during alert level 4: "Courts are an essential service. New Zealand courts must continue to uphold the rule of law and to ensure that fair trial rights, the right to natural justice and rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act are upheld."
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Is Self-Isolation Pushing you Together or Pulling you Apart?

Feeling stressed or anxious about how Covid-19 (coronavirus) and New Zealand entering alert level 4 with nationwide lockdowns will affect you and your family members? Times of crisis can result in a push-and-pull effect with our personal relationships. They bring people together – only those in your household! - but difficult times can also lead to difficulties arising in our relationships with our, quite literally, nearest and dearest.
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Family Mediation Services Continue to be Available During Level 4 Alert

Amidst the Covid-19 lockdowns initiated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday 23 March 2020, many Kiwis are feeling stressed and uncertain about their current situation. When issues arise, especially at an unprecedented time like this, it’s often best to talk them out and work together to find positive solutions. If parenting, child welfare and other family issues arise that you need to discuss, we are here to assist.
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Free Online Family Legal Advice Service During Covid-19

Stocking up on food items, school, restaurant, cinema and non-essential business closures, and plenty of hand-sanitising. The Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the Government’s measures to flatten the curve are affecting our behaviour, and our relationships. Staying at home with our families during this period of nationwide self-isolation can cause issues to arise.
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Excessive and Inappropriate Screen Use in Schools - A Legal Ticking Time Bomb?

I’m a father of four primary school age children, and a partner in a large Auckland law firm. I’ve been asked to write this opinion piece to provoke further public discussion and consideration of the issues surrounding the use of screens/technology in schools.
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Changes to Protection Orders From 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, changes are being made to all Protection Orders, including those made before this date. The Family Violence Act 2018 repeals and replaces the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and modifies the Care of Children Act 2004 as part of ongoing efforts to tackle domestic violence issues in New Zealand with the aim of providing faster, more effective protection for protected persons and increasing accountability and compliance by respondents.
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'Insuring' Your Relationship Property

Section 21 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act") allows for parties to essentially 'contract out' of the Act and determine how the relationship property would be divided on the off-chance that you and your partner separate.
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