Family Conflict Navigation

The Family Conflict Navigation Service is a community-led initiative that assists both separated parents in managing their parental conflict and empowering parents with knowledge to make informed decisions. 

The service begins by providing information about the process, followed by individualised conflict coaching, guidance, knowledge sharing, and strategies for conflict prevention and effective communication. It then concludes by facilitating informal steps to resolve the disputes through discussions and negotiations, with complex disputes referred to Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

Care Of Children

Any disputes relevant to the Child's Care / Contact arrangements.

Child's Welfare Decisions

Any disputes relevant to the child's parenting / guardianship decisions

Relationship Property

Any disputes relavant to relationship property division

The Coach’s role is to guide both parents on the best ways to reduce / eliminate  their parental conflict, offer guidance and conflict coaching skills, and ultimately help the parties work together to find a resolution. Follow-ups are conducted after the process.

This service is aimed at parents who are either newly separated or in the process of separating, as well as those who are already involved in Family Court litigation.

This service is conducted remotely through audio and video platforms, telephone, or in person if applicable. The Coach goes back and forth in an attempt to guide both parties involved.

Regardless of the outcome, both parents can still register for the Ongoing Conflict Prevention service (OCP). 

The Process

  • Consent to use the service

    Both parties agree to use the service or FDSS invites the other party to use the service

  • Sign the Agreement

    Both parties sign the online “Terms of engagement” agreement to initiate the service.

  • Introductory meetings

    The Coach will arrange separate online / telephone meetings with each party for confidential disclosures

  • Conduct Meetings

    Start of negotiations & guidance & conflict coaching through separate or joint online or telephone meetings

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At the end of the process

Is Family Dispute Resolution included in this service ?

Yes, for minor disputes. However it depends on the complexity of the dispute. If the Coach believes that the dispute is very complex, then both parties might be referred to resolve their dispute through FDR (Family Dispute Resolution)

 

What if an agreement is reached ?

The Coach will draft your private agreement, which can then be turned into a Court formal order by consent. For a relationship property division, the Coach will draft the private agreement, which each party must sign off on with the assistance of a lawyer and seek independent legal advice and make it as a formal “Separation Agreement” pursuant to s21F of the RPA Act 1976, if they wish to do so. 

What if NO agreement reached?

If no agreement is reached, both parties are able to progress with their unresolved disputes through the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) process or the Family Court to resolve their issues.

 

Register for the OCP Service

Both parties have the option to register for the (OCP) – Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service.

Explore the FAQs for more information

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions to find answers and more information about this service.

Community-led Services

The inception of this service is rooted in our firsthand personal and professional experience over a decade, also having witnessed hundreds of families struggling with the deterimental impact of the adversarial separation and litigation.

This firsthand insight strengthened our commitment to providing compassionate support, community guidance and tailored solutions for families navigating these challenges. As a not-for-profit community organisation, we focus on promoting open communications between parents to reduce conflict and prioritise the well-being of children in separated families. 

We are whānau....... We are Community

We promote unity, support, and open communication. Our approach is rooted in whānau values and community cooperation, empowering whānau to navigate and overcome challenges together for the sake of their children.

Ongoing Conflict Prevention

Early Prevention is the key. FDSS acts as as strong fence at the top of the cliff rather than an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Following Family separation or during the Family Court proceedings, despite of having an agreement in place, often conflicts can arise unexpectedly, posing challenges to amicable co-parenting relationship between separated parents. 

The Ongoing Conflict Prevention (OCP) service is a community-led initiative addressing post-family separation conflicts, prioritising amicable co-parenting and early prevention. It provides an informal, quick, continuous, and cost-effective resolution process, aiming to prevent Family Court litigation and high conflict.

Both guardians must consent to register for this service, allowing them at any time to seek assistance from FDSS to conciliate or prevent conflict during their separation journey and the Family Court proceedings. 

Guidance & Conflict Coaching

Guidance and coaching to parents, supporting them in managing and resolving their conflicts and disputes by experienced and trained Coaches

Cost-Effective

A cost-effective alternative to lengthy legal battles through informal process for quicker results. Fees by Koha (Donation)

Voluntary process

A voluntary process empowering families to resolve conflicts and disputes collaboratively and voluntarily without any commitments

Insightful Community Guidance

Drawing from community perspectives and over a decade of firsthand experience , we provide whānau with comprehensive insights into several aspects of Family Sepration

During the process we offer guidance and support to parents on how to manage and reduce conflict, including effective communication strategies, conflict resolution skills, and techniques for co-parenting effectively.

Court Potential Outcomes

We offer whānau comprehensive insights into the potential outcomes of their disputes if they are brought before the Family Court. This approach is very beneficial, as it allows whānau to explore potential solutions to their issues in a more informal and less adversarial setting than the court. It also help them make more informed decisions about how to proceed.

Guidance and Awareness

A crucial aspect of our approach is to highlight the detrimental effects of high parental conflict and adversarial separation on both parents and their children. We offer guidance on the potential long-term repercussions for all involved, equipping whānau with strategies to mitigate harm and foster healthier co-parenting relationships.

Cultural sensitivity and inclusivity

The process prioritises cultural sensitivity and inclusivity, respecting diverse perspectives and values within families

Sharing knowledge & Prevention

The service emphasises education and prevention to help parents avoid adversrial separation and mitigate future disputes

Court Potential Outcomes

Extensive insights into the potential Family Court outcomes & perception, to help parents in making informed decisions

What parents say about us

Community-led Initiative

The Community-led Initiative fosters a sense of community and encourages active participation in conflict resolution.

Private and Confidential

A private & confidential process where all disclosed information remains confidential, to ensure a safe & supportive environment

Fast response & informal

A Community-led informal, expedited approach to conflict resolution without unnecessary formalities or prolonged processes

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is Family Harmony Coaching Service ?

The Family Harmony Coaching Service is a community-led service. It is an informal, quick, and cost effective way to resolve a parental dispute or a conflict. A form of alternative or informal dispute resolution process. The FHC allows parties to maintain control over the outcome. It is particularly helpful in situations where preserving relationships is important.

What disputes can be discussed during the process??

Any disputes related to Family separation including:

  1. Children care arrangements and contact
  2. Parenting plans
  3. Guardianship disputes such as schooling, relocation
  4. And any other decisions related to the children.
  5. Improving communication between parents.
  6. Reducing conflict
  7. Relationship property division 
What is the difference between Mediation and FHC ?

Family Harmony Coaching vs. Mediation:

  1. Like Mediation, Family Harmony is voluntary, flexible, and confidential.
  2. However, conciliation often involves more active guidance / suggestions / solutions from the Coach, which Mediators do not offer during Mediation. 
What are the advantages of Conciliation ?
  1. Community-led service. 
  2. Active guidance by the Conciliator during the process.
  3. Focus on finding common ground.
  4. Conciliator may propose solutions 
  5. The proposed solutions outline how likley a family court might rule on the dispute/s if it was presented before them. 
Tell me more about what Cancilators can do during the process?

The main focus is on finding Solutions. Conciliators are able to provide non-legally binding solutions and suggestions to help parties reach agreements outside of court. Their primary focus is on facilitating communication, identifying common ground, and assisting in crafting mutually agreeable solutions. While they can provide guidance on potential outcomes based on their experience and knowledge of Family justice system. 

Can you invite my former partner to engage in this service ?

Yes we are able to do so, however we prefer that you invite them to participate. Based on our experience with many parents, it is very powerful for both parents to agree to engage with this service. It means alot. 

What if my former refuses to engage ?

Sadly, nothing we can do. Talk to us and we can discuss about it. 

Can you explain more about the guidance you provide during the process?

Yes sure below are some of the guidlines: 

Potential Outcomes of Disputes:

  • We offer a detailed understanding of the highly likely potential outcomes if disputes proceed to the Family Court.

Court’s Perspective and Family Justice System:

  • Our guidance includes insights into the perspectives of the court and other professionals within the Family Justice system.

Reality of Court Process and Litigation:

  • We help parents to explore the practicalities and implications of engaging in the court process and litigation.

Preserving Co-Parenting Relationships:

  • We provide practical strategies aimed at preserving co-parenting relationships and minimizing conflict, thereby reducing harm to all parties involved.
Can i choose not to receive solutions / suggestions ?

Yes, of course – At the end of the Conciliation Meeting both parties must consent to receiving suggestions or solutions from the Conciliator.

Can you provide evidence to support your suggestions or solutions?

Yes, we are able to provide you with case law and psychological references, if available.

What is the advantage of providing us with solutions or suggestions?

Understanding potential outcomes of disputes is crucial for informed decision-making, managing expectations, strategic planning, minimising stress, and facilitating resolution. By offering a detailed understanding, individuals can navigate family conflicts more effectively and work towards resolutions that meet their needs and priorities.

Simply, why would someone go through litigation, knowing the potential outcome of their dispute?

Why do you offer suggestions or solutions?

FDSS commitment to preventing parents from going through the adversarial separation process and promoting agreement between parents is commendable. By offering suggestions or solutions and guidance, FDSS aims to support families in finding amicable resolutions without resorting to litigation, which can often be detrimental to all parties involved, especially the children.

Fostering an environment where both parents can agree on their own terms not only empowers them but can also contribute to a more positive and less adversarial experience. It aligns with the idea of alternative dispute resolution methods, emphasising collaboration and communication over confrontation.

What happens during the meetings ?

During conciliation, the conciliator assists the parties in identifying their concerns, clarifying misunderstandings, and exploring possible solutions. Their role is to facilitate communication and ensure that the discussion remains focused on resolving the dispute.

How does it work ?

Scenario 1:

  1. Mary and Jack, who recently separated, were in disagreement over their children’s school. Mary sought assistance from FDSS, who recommended the Family Conciliation Service, an option both Mary and Jack accepted. They chose to conduct the conciliation over the phone, without joint meetings.
  2. After both Mary and Jack agreed to the engagement terms online, FDSS Coach Ben initiated the conciliation process by speaking separately with each parent.
  3. Despite participating in eight sessions, they were unable to reach an agreement. Both parties then requested suggestions from FDSS for resolving the dispute. Ben referred the case to Mike, a Senior Conciliator, for further assistance.
  4. The Senior Concialator presented a non-legally binding confidential proposal to both parents, outlining how a court might decide the matter if it were brought before them. Additionally, Mike provided them with a digital copy of a relevant similar case law.
  5. Following Mike’s proposal, both parties agreed with a few minor amendments. Mike prepared the agreement. An agreement was signed by both parties.
  6. FDSS then guided both parties how to file a parenting order application by consent, turning their private agreement into a legally-binding court order.
  7. Jack and Mary were pleased that they reached an agreement without resorting to litigation in the Family Court. They both decided to utilise the “FDSS Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service” and agreed to add FDSS as an intervener in their parenting order. In the event of any future disputes, both parents could contact FDSS for intervention.
What if we do not reach an agreement ?

If an agreement isn’t reached, both parties have the option (by consent) to explore alternative  child-focused suggestions from the conciliator and third party specialist. The suggestions to be offered are not legally binding and confidential. 

If the dispute can’t be resolved through conciliation, you can apply to have the matter heard in the court or go through the FDR process as you wish. 

Our role is to assist the parties to consider different options to resolve the dispute and provide non-legally binding confidential information about possible terms of settlement. We can also help write up the conciliation agreement.

Do i need a lawyer during the conciliation ?

You do not need a lawyer to participate in conciliation – however its up to you to seek an advice from a lawyer if you wish to do so. 

Can i have a support person during the conciliation ?

Unless both parties consent for this to happen. 

What is the difference between conciliation and mediation ?

They are both similar processes. The Conciliation is more informal and quick process than mediation. The benefit of Conciliation is that the Concilator is able to provide non-legally binding and confidential solutions and suggestions.

Where do the meetings take place ?

Conciliation often take place in a face-to-face meeting (depending on your location) or a meeting over the telephone or Audio and Video meeting plaform. In some cases, it can be resolved through an exchange of letters and conversations with the conciliator.

Can meetings happen in-person ?

It depends on your location but there will be additional charges for room hire, travel and associated costs, if a meeting in-person is required. 

Are the suggestions or solutions optional ?

Yes – sure it is optional and it must be agreed by consent. Still one of the parties can request to receive suggestions or solutions. 

Why receiving suggestion or solutions is beneficial ?

Indeed, seeking our expertise can spare you from enduring both emotional and financial strains associated with a protracted legal battle. Our experience indicates that pursuing resolution through the court system often leads to years of prolonged conflict. Our goal is to guide you towards a more efficient and amicable resolution process, ultimately alleviating unnecessary hardships.

Why are you offering this community service ?

We are offering this community service because we believe in the importance of providing support and guidance to families experiencing parental disputes, separations, and divorces. We understand the emotional and financial toll that these situations can take on individuals and families. By offering our expertise and resources, we aim to empower people to navigate these challenges more effectively. Our goal is to contribute to healthier, more harmonious communities by helping individuals find constructive resolutions to their conflicts.

Can you provide feedback about your services?

Feel free to read other parents’ feedback about the support we provide. We are happy to provide you with the contact details of many parents who used our services ! We do good stuff for our community – amazing stuff. We simply care about our community members and children and we want them to overcome their family separation without any conflict or stress. 

How do i start ?

Simply complete the “Request Call Back Form”

The start of the process

How can FDSS help ?

FDSS acts as a third party to intervene in potential future disputes demonstrates a proactive. FDSS aims to eliminate conflicts early, before they escalate to litigations. 

What is the purpose of the "Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service"?

Many parents approach us on regular basis, wanting to initiate applications in the Family Court without attempting to resolve issues out of the court. This proactive approach aims to prevent parental disputes from escalating to court litigation, ensuring a healthier and more constructive co-parenting dynamic between the guardians.

What happens after i sign up and my former partner for this service ?

Upon signing up with the ongoing conflict prevention service, an experienced concilator will be appointed to deal with your case who will act as a third party and intervene in potential future disputes that may arise. 

Can you please provide a case study?

Case Study: Resolving Prolonged Parental Disputes with FDSS

Background:
Jack and Mary, a couple with two children, found themselves embroiled in a six-year legal battle over the care arrangements for their kids. The ongoing litigation led to a heightened level of conflict, adversely affecting the children’s relationship with their mother, Mary. The situation had escalated to the point where the children were refusing to communicate or meet with her.

Challenge:
Despite a court order mandating that Mary spend time with her children on a weekly basis, the children’s resistance persisted. The family was caught in a cycle of conflict and estrangement, and the legal process had failed to bring about a satisfactory resolution.

Intervention:
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Mary sought the assistance of Family Dispute Support Service (FDSS) to address the breach of the parenting order. FDSS recommended a non-litigious approach, proposing that Mary share the father’s contact details in an attempt to resolve the issue outside of court.

Outcome:
FDSS promptly initiated a dialogue with the father. Through this intervention, contact between Mary and the children was successfully reestablished. Following this breakthrough, both parents, Jack and Mary, reached a mutual agreement to share the care of their children equally. They approached the Family Court to formalize their private arrangement into a final parenting order.

Long-term Strategy:
Recognizing the value of FDSS’s intervention, both Mary and Jack opted to enroll in the “Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service.” They committed to involving FDSS as a neutral third party in any potential future disputes. Additionally, they agreed to incorporate a clause in their parenting order, stipulating that FDSS would intervene to assist in dispute resolution, with the exception of cases involving serious allegations of violence.

Conclusion:
This case highlights the transformative impact of proactive intervention and mediation in resolving entrenched familial disputes. FDSS’s strategic intervention not only restored the parent-child relationship but also paved the way for a cooperative co-parenting arrangement. By choosing to engage FDSS in an ongoing capacity, Jack and Mary have taken a proactive step towards maintaining a harmonious co-parenting relationship,  ultimately benefiting all members involved and most importantly their children. This case serves as a testament to the power of constructive communication and professional support in overcoming long-standing conflicts within families. Jack and Mary still registered for this service, and would approach FDSS if any disputes may arise in the future. 

Who facilitates the OCP service ?

The initiative is facilitated by passionate community members who are experienced mediators and conciliators known for successfully resolving disputes outside the court, emphasising the community’s commitment to constructive conflict resolution.

Ongoing Conflict Prevention

How can FDSS help ?

FDSS acts as a third party to intervene in potential future disputes demonstrates a proactive. FDSS aims to eliminate conflicts early, before they escalate to litigations. 

What is the purpose of the "Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service"?

Many parents approach us on regular basis, wanting to initiate applications in the Family Court without attempting to resolve issues out of the court. This proactive approach aims to prevent parental disputes from escalating to court litigation, ensuring a healthier and more constructive co-parenting dynamic between the guardians.

What happens after i sign up and my former partner for this service ?

Upon signing up with the ongoing conflict prevention service, an experienced concilator will be appointed to deal with your case who will act as a third party and intervene in potential future disputes that may arise. 

Can you please provide a case study?

Case Study: Resolving Prolonged Parental Disputes with FDSS

Background:
Jack and Mary, a couple with two children, found themselves embroiled in a six-year legal battle over the care arrangements for their kids. The ongoing litigation led to a heightened level of conflict, adversely affecting the children’s relationship with their mother, Mary. The situation had escalated to the point where the children were refusing to communicate or meet with her.

Challenge:
Despite a court order mandating that Mary spend time with her children on a weekly basis, the children’s resistance persisted. The family was caught in a cycle of conflict and estrangement, and the legal process had failed to bring about a satisfactory resolution.

Intervention:
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Mary sought the assistance of Family Dispute Support Service (FDSS) to address the breach of the parenting order. FDSS recommended a non-litigious approach, proposing that Mary share the father’s contact details in an attempt to resolve the issue outside of court.

Outcome:
FDSS promptly initiated a dialogue with the father. Through this intervention, contact between Mary and the children was successfully reestablished. Following this breakthrough, both parents, Jack and Mary, reached a mutual agreement to share the care of their children equally. They approached the Family Court to formalize their private arrangement into a final parenting order.

Long-term Strategy:
Recognizing the value of FDSS’s intervention, both Mary and Jack opted to enroll in the “Ongoing Conflict Prevention Service.” They committed to involving FDSS as a neutral third party in any potential future disputes. Additionally, they agreed to incorporate a clause in their parenting order, stipulating that FDSS would intervene to assist in dispute resolution, with the exception of cases involving serious allegations of violence.

Conclusion:
This case highlights the transformative impact of proactive intervention and mediation in resolving entrenched familial disputes. FDSS’s strategic intervention not only restored the parent-child relationship but also paved the way for a cooperative co-parenting arrangement. By choosing to engage FDSS in an ongoing capacity, Jack and Mary have taken a proactive step towards maintaining a harmonious co-parenting relationship,  ultimately benefiting all members involved and most importantly their children. This case serves as a testament to the power of constructive communication and professional support in overcoming long-standing conflicts within families. Jack and Mary still registered for this service, and would approach FDSS if any disputes may arise in the future. 

Who facilitates the OCP service ?

The initiative is facilitated by passionate community members who are experienced mediators and conciliators known for successfully resolving disputes outside the court, emphasising the community’s commitment to constructive conflict resolution.

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