The terms of engagement cover the following services:

  • Comprehensive Ongoing Coaching Support

For guardians who require a comprehensive ongoing coaching support services – (Monthly Membership fees)

  • Basic Ongoing Coaching Support

For guardians who require a dedicated 1:1 telephone support up to 1 hour per month – Fees by Koha/Donation.
These terms of engagement outline the agreement between you and (FDSS) Family Dispute Support Services.

Terms of Engagement:

Family Dispute Support Services (referred to as either “the organisation”, “We”, “Us”, “FDSS” or “Our” in this Agreement). This TOE agreement is not intended as an agreement between the client “you” and any individuals employees or volunteers of FDSS. Your agreement is solely with FDSS.

The agreement explains the terms of your engagement with Family Dispute Support Services (“FDSS”), including interactions through phone, text messages, or video calls, participation in workshops, access to the online knowledge base, and engaging in written and verbal communications with FDSS coaches, McKenzie Friends, and Volunteers through emails, chat, phone, or video calls, or in-person.

Agreeing to these terms indicates your acceptance of FDSS’s terms of engagement. Completing and submitting this agreement online is mandatory before using any of the DIY Family Separation services.

1 – Our Services:

(FDSS) coaches, McKenzie friends, Volunteers, and their associates are not lawyers.

a) We can provide you with legal and procedural information, not legal advice. We can support and guide you on your case, whether you are self-represented or represented by a lawyer. We will offer legal information, explain it for you, point out public prescribed forms and templates, and reference related legislation. It is up to you to decide whether you want to apply it in your case.

b) We can also review, but not revise, your completed forms or documents if required.

c) We will try to help and support you through the process as much as we can. However, we cannot speak or settle on your behalf.

d) We can communicate with other parties on your behalf with your consent.

e) We cannot make decisions on your behalf, but we can assist you along with your decision-making process.

2 – Services we provide you:

FDSS agrees to provide the following services to the Client:

a) Ongoing coaching and support services over audio and video or in writing or in-person, if possible.

b) Timeline: The engagement shall commence on the date the first payment is received and continue until completion or termination, as per the provisions of this Agreement.

3 – Responsibilities and Obligations:

a) Client Responsibilities: The Client shall cooperate with FDSS, provide necessary information and access to relevant resources, and promptly respond to requests for feedback or approvals.

b) FDSS Responsibilities: FDSS shall utilize their expertise, skills, and best efforts to deliver the services in a timely and professional manner.

4 – Fees and Payment Terms:

a) Compensation: The Client agrees to pay FDSS the agreed-upon fees for the services provided.

b) Invoicing and Payment: The client can request an invoice or receipt of payment every month, quarterly, yearly, if required. Payment shall be made within the time/dates agreed upon in the provisions of this agreement. FDSS has the right to cease the service immediately if the account payment is overdue by more than 1 month.

5 – Limitations associated with the coaching and support services *

(FDSS) coaches cannot provide legal advice or represent you in court. We cannot pay legal fees or other expenses for you. We cannot make decisions on your behalf nor speak on your behalf, only with your consent or if the court asks us to do so.

6 – Disclaimer:

a) The information contained on this site or in any correspondence communicated to you by our support persons, McKenzie friends, and coaches using the coaching and support services, or during our workshops, or any documents provided are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

b) We accept no responsibility for the consequences of taking any information as advice. None of FDSS support persons, McKenzie Friends, coaches, or any of their associates could be liable for damage or financial loss independently caused. Additionally, FDSS and their associates are not liable for any financial loss of dismissed court applications or costs orders/awards arising from any information provided through any correspondences.

c) FDSS or any of its employees or volunteers are not liable for any loss or dismissed court applications or costs awards or contribution orders arising from any information provided to you through any verbal or written correspondences.

7 – Coaches Availability:

a) FDSS is a not-for-profit community organization and a registered charitable trust. We are in the process of seeking funding to reach out to more families in need of support and help.

b) Our coaches are volunteers with their own full/part-time jobs and children of their own, so they are only available at certain times. We will review any correspondence during normal business hours. If you do not hear back from us outside these times, please be patient as we will get to your email.

c) Family court processes are usually very slow and often do not require an immediate response. However, if an urgent matter arises, we will try to act on it as quickly as we can. We will do our best to respond efficiently. The best way is to contact your coach by text message.

8 – Confidentiality:

a) Non-Disclosure: Both Parties agree to maintain strict confidentiality regarding any confidential information shared during the course of the engagement.

b) Exceptions: Confidentiality obligations shall not apply to information that is publicly available or becomes known independently without a breach of this Agreement, such as anonymous testimonials.


Privacy is Important to Us! – We are committed to maintaining the privacy of all personal information entrusted to us and continually implement practices to protect the privacy of your information.

a) We will not share any of your personal information with any external third party without obtaining your consent.

b) Your private personal information and data are handled in accordance with New Zealand Laws and our privacy policy at FDSS Privacy Policy.

c) In the event this agreement is terminated, FDSS is not obliged to transfer your personal data and information to any parties. FDSS can provide you with a copy of your digital information and data that you shared with us by email or through secure cloud storage. You have the right to ask us in writing at any time to discard/destroy any of your personal data or information from our cloud storage or emails and the database (process time up to 10 working days).

10 – Termination:

a) Termination for Convenience: Either Party may terminate this Agreement for any reason by providing written notice to the other Party.

b) Termination for Cause: Either Party may terminate this Agreement immediately in the event of a material breach by the other Party.

11 – Governing Law and Jurisdiction:

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with New Zealand Laws and regulations.

Any disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunals/courts of New Zealand.

12 – Entire Agreement:

This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the Parties and supersedes all prior discussions, negotiations, or agreements, whether written or oral, relating to the subject matter herein.

13 – Disclaimer of Liability:

a) General Information Disclaimer: The information provided in any form, including but not limited to written documents, emails, or verbal communication or recorded video or tutorials, is intended for general informational purposes only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, about the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information provided. By using or relying on this information, you agree that we shall not be held liable for any loss, damage, or injury arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.

b) Not Legal Advice: The information provided does not constitute legal advice, and no lawyer-client relationship is formed by virtue of its provision. The content of this information should not be considered a substitute for legal advice from a qualified professional. Legal matters are complex and subject to varying interpretations, and you should seek appropriate legal counsel to address your specific situation if you wish to do so.

c) No Reliance: You should not rely on the information provided as the sole basis for making decisions or taking actions. If you are unsure, we strongly recommend conducting independent research and consulting with qualified professionals before making any decisions or taking any action based on the information provided.

d) No Endorsement: Reference to any specific product, service, or organization does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. We do not assume any responsibility or liability for the actions, products, services, or content of any third parties mentioned or linked to in the information provided.

e) Non-Transferability: This disclaimer of liability and not legal advice declaration is non-transferable. It applies solely to the recipient named herein and may not be assigned, transferred, or conveyed to any other party without our prior written consent.

f) Governing Law: This disclaimer shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New Zealand, without regard to its conflict of laws principles. If you do not agree with any part of this disclaimer, please refrain from using the information provided and notify us immediately. By using or relying on the information provided, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agreed to the terms and conditions outlined in this disclaimer.

g) FDSS Services: All FDSS services offered cannot be considered as a replacement for any services offered by a lawyer, counselor, psychologist, or services offered by the Ministry of Justice or the Family Court.

14 – Service Subscription Fees:

The Comprehensive Ongoing Coaching Support service is based on subscription fees. I am aware that there are associated subscription/membership fees with the service, and that the subscription fees for this service are based on the complexity of the case, payable monthly in advance.

The specific amount of the subscription fee in my case was provided by FDSS through email, following my first or second telephone consultation. In the event the service is terminated by either party, the subscription fees paid are not refundable.

Should either party wish to cancel the Monthly subscription/membership fees, they need to do this in writing.

15 – Service fees by Donation:

The Basic Ongoing Coaching Support service is based on donation/koha, I am aware that the donation I make is non-refundable. Also, I understand that my contributions are voluntary and are meant to support the organisation’s mission to help other families who are in need of such services we offer.

Your donation is greatly appreciated and will help support the service and FDSS mission.

FDSS – Family Disputes Support Services is a not for profit community organisation powered and funded by generous donors

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