online pre-recorded workshops

Self-Representation Course

The Self-Representation Course is a whānau-community focused initiative. The course consists of a series of modules delivered through online virtual workshops. We highly suggest to start watching the videos in order.



Read Housekeeping rules and info

Disclaimer: The slides/videos written or verbal information are for viewing purposes only. The contents of the slides are protected by copyright and all rights are held exclusively by FDSS – Family Dispute Support Services. No one shall download or use the contents of the slide for commercial purposes or distribution or sharing without obtaining a permission from Family Dispute Support Services. The information included in the slides are intended for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Module 1 – Family Court general procedures

Module Contents: Understanding what’s involved in self litigation. An overview of the Family court general processes, legislation, and general  proceedings types and tracks. How to initiate and respond to applications, when and how to do things according to the prescribed rules. How to draft and structure affidavits and memoranda and types of conferences and hearings at the Family Court.

Module 2 – Care of Children Disputes

 Module Contents: The fundamentals of initiating and responding to applications , setting a pragmatic child-focused litigation strategy. Gain insight into the Court’s legal and psychological perspective and assessment criteria for matters relevant to the Care of Children disputes.

Module 3 – Family Violence

Module Contents: The fundamentals of initiating and responding to applications under the Family Violence Act 2018, dealing with Police safety orders, Protection orders and Property orders. Setting a pragmatic realistic litigation strategy, gain insight into the Court’s assessment criteria relevant to the Family Violence.

Module 4 – Separation & Property

Module Contents: Principles of separation and dissolving marriages/civil unions. Understanding how the court defines and divides property in a relationship. Looking at how relationship property agreements work and how to draft a valid agreement. The fundamentals of initiating and responding to applications under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and how the court process works.

Module 5 – Managing your case

Module Contents: How to initiate and respond interlocutory matters and notices. The evidential requirements in the family court. and how the evidence is assessed in the family court, types of evidence, cross-examination and witnesses summons. Preparing for hearings including writing submissions as well as how to present your case in the courtroom.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is this a legal advice ?

This extensive course is aimed for parents who want to represent themselves in the Family court. Also, it is useful for parents who are already represented by a lawyer to help them gain knowledge on how the Family court operates and how to instruct their lawyers effectively. Completing this course does not necessarily mean you will be able to represent yourself in the Family Court or win your case or put your case adequately before the court. Attendees might need to seek a legal advice or get some guidance and support from us.

I need more information about self-represention in the Family Court

Yes, more in-depth explanation about self-represention on this linklink or feel free to contact us at support@fdss.org nz 

Do i have to complete all modules ?

Modules: This course consists of 5 Modules each 1-2 hours delivered weekly/ Tuesdays over a 4 week period. The first and last module cover the general court processes and apply to all proceedings under the family court, so it is recommended that all registrants attend these 2 modules. You can then choose any of the remaining 3 modules depending on your circumstances and needs. Course schedule below

What is the cost of this Course ?

No 

Would completing this course means i can represent myself in the Family Court ?

No it does not necessarily mean you will be able to represent yourself, win your case or put your case adequately before the court. You might need help and support or seek a legal advice, if required.


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