Service Terms & conditions

Effective June 1, 2021

Use of this site implies agreement in complying with the following:

The terms and conditions explains how the information communicated to you by our organisation and the information on FDSS website are dealt with. 

The information contained in this site or by any of the correspondences communicated to you by our support persons or McKenzie friends and coaches are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. We accept no responsibility for the consequences of taking any information as an advice. None of FDSS support persons, McKenzie Friends, coaches or any of their associate could be liable for damage or financial loss independently caused. Also FDSS and their associates are not liable for any loss or dismissed court applications or costs orders arising from any information provided through any correspondences.

The legal information and resources provided to our clients are available on the internet and in libraries. “FDSS and their associates assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or any information provided to any of any persons. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

We do not provide legal advice in that (or any other) regard, and as a result we will not be liable to you or anyone else regarding any incorrect use of any form or advice

 The aim of the submitting your information to us by email or through the website is for us to understand your legal issues background and to gather information, we do not provide legal advice in response. 

We do not represent clients in the courts or at tribunals, but you need to seek legal advice providers who are able to offer representation.

We are not lawyers. If you have legal questions, please consult a lawyer. FDSS provides you with guidance and support. 

FDSS is not a law firm, it does not provide legal advice. Any form of advice or information provided to our clients do not constitute to legal advice.

McKenzie Friend in New Zealand, which is a service that provides moral support to litigants, takes notes and help with case papers and quietly would also advice on point of law and procedure and issues litigants may wish to raise in court McKenzie friends also attend court with clients on the conditions that they have to file an application for lay assistant/McKenzie friend and sign the Undertakings form in the presence of a court registrar.

A McKenzie friend could assist a litigant in person in a court of law . Their personnel does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A McKenzie Friend could explain their terms and conditions to you and be insured. However, most don’t have insurance to cover claims if anything goes wrong. And they don’t have to follow a code of conduct. This means there are no rules stating how they must behave.

Copyrights

Material on this site is protected by copyright of FDSS – Family Disputes Support Services at www.fdss.org.nz. Any use of the material on this site – other than for personal use – is prohibited, including replication, downloading, transmitting, broadcasting, or posting.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is for general use, and should not be used as legal advice. We do our best to ensure this site contains information we consider to be correct at the time of posting, but we do not accept liability for its accuracy or completeness. Any reference to a website, link, service, or agency on this site is not an endorsement or recommendation by our charity. We do not take responsibility for any problems or third party claims that result from the use of this site, or links on this site which direct you to other sites.

FDSS coaches. support persons and McKenzie Friends are not a lawyers or a law firm and does not engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice or legal representation. All information, software, services, and comments provided on the site or communicated over emails, phone calls  are for informational and self-help purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Use.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Personal Data and Privacy

Please read our Privacy Policy to see how we use and protect any information that you give us when using our website.

Our site uses Google Analytics. This information is used to help us understand how our visitors engage with our site. If you need to update your information with us, or want to be removed from our mailing list, please email us admin@fdss.org.nz

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Our aim in working with you

  • To support your through a stressful and potentially confusing process so that you can present your views to the court regarding the best interests of your children, in a clear and child-focused manner. Also to support you in protecting yourself and your children.
  • To explain for you the options of resolving your family disputes amicably, if possible out of the court depending on the circumstances.
  • To explain the process of the family court proceedings and how to navigate the family court system and avoid lengthy and costly litigation. To train you on how to self-represent in the family court and guide you through the process.
  • To enable you, as far as it rests with you, to reduce conflict and the sources of conflict with your ex-partner, in order to focus on what is best for your children now and in the future to preserve and promote the relationships that are important to your children.
  • To provide expert advice to assist and enable you to achieve these aims, away from entailing any emotional or psychological hardship on your family and children.
  • Please be aware that should we believe you are asking us to become involved in ways that are inconsistent with your childrens’ safety and welfare, or breaches code of ethics in other ways, We reserve the right to withdraw from this agreement. I would of course discuss any such concerns with you before considering any such action.

Our Service agreement

  • FDSS – Family Disputes Support Services is a charity offering a free and confidential service.
  • We support people going through the court process without legal representation or support. 
  • Our aim is to help you to manage your case for yourself
FDSS Volunteers can:

  • listen to you and provide information and support
  • help you find out if you can get free legal advice
  • discuss settling issues without going to court
  • explain how the court works
  • help you fill in court forms and organise court papers
  • go with you to court offices and counters
  • help you to plan what you want to say in court
  • go to court with you, take notes and help afterwards
  • help you think about your next steps
  • provide details of other specialist agencies
We don’t:

  • ever give legal advice
  • act on your behalf
  • look after your children or any vulnerable adult with you
  • share your confidential information with anyone, unless we hear something that causes concern for your safety or another person’s
  • act as witnesses to investigations
We ask you to…

  • remember that you remain responsible for your case at all times
  • understand that there are times when we need to restrict our services, so that we are fair to all our clients
  • help us make our offices positive and safe places for everyone – clients, volunteers, and staff
  • treat other people in our offices with the respect you would expect to be treated with yourself
  • accept that if your language or behaviour is causing difficulties, or is stopping us from helping you or other
  • clients, we will need to talk to you about this and that we may have to ask you to leav1