Every year, thousands of parents in New Zealand deal with their Family Separation alone without help or guidance, which often leads to exposing their vulnerable children to high parental conflict, mental health illness, suicide and family violence. Many parents have to go through the process alone, struggling to deal with their family separation journey, sudden lifestyle changes and managing to understand the process of resolving their disputes amicably. Also, many are forced to represent themselves in the Family Court, seek access to their children, protect themselves and their children from violence, or defend themselves. They are forced to navigate the complex Family Justice system alone, often against the professional legal representation of the other party or they may face vexatious litigation from the opposition party.
FDSS was created due to the demands of many New Zealand families who are going through the family separation process in and out of the Family Court system. Over many decades, thousands and hundreds of Kiwi families have been pleading for help on how to deal with their family separation and understand the Family Court complex slow processes.
The increase in cuts to legal aid over recent years has meant that thousands more people have to deal with their family court proceedings without any help or guidance. Their access to Justice is limited by how overwhelming the Family Court processes can be to those who have never faced it before, and many struggle to represent themselves effectively in court.