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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring?

It is helpful, but not compulsory, to bring important documents to your first appointment, such as:

- Photo ID.

- Details of your finances if your case is about property, or you are applying for Legal Aid.  This might mean;

  • Your current home loan balance,
  • Details of any credit cards or loans,
  • Details of any cash in the bank or other assets such as shares or Kiwisaver (internet banking screenshots are fine).
  • Copies of any current Court Orders in place for your children, or mediation agreements, if you have them.
  • Details about your income, such as payslips (several of them if your pay varies).

What goes into a parenting agreement?

Check out the Parenting Plan workbook below for examples of the things you may want to discuss with the other parent. 

As well as the week to week routines, these include: long weekends, school holidays, birthdays (parents' and children's), Mothers/Fathers day and phone contact. 

What is needed will be unique to the family: some parents are able to 'go with the flow' while other parents benefit greatly from some advance planning.

Can we meet via Zoom?

Absolutely.  Stephanie regularly acts for clients in rural areas who cannot come into the office.  We will make a plan that works for you.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes - however, we need to consider the likely total cost of your case, and the timeframe for repayment, when agreeing to a regular amount with you.

Who is eligible for Legal Aid?

In simple terms, the base test is the annual income of a person's household and its dependents (including children who are supported through child support but live elsewhere).  The thresholds have recently been updated and a PDF setting these out for both single and partnered applicants can be found at the bottom of this page.

​​​​​HOWEVER - this should be taken as a guide only.  Legal Aid can be available to applicants whose income exceeds these thresholds if they can demonstrate an inability to meet legal costs.

Likewise, Legal Aid can be declined on the basis that a low-income applicant nonetheless has available assets which deem them ineligible.

In most instances owning your own home does not prevent you being eligible for Legal Aid; but you will need to agree to Legal Aid having a charge for repayment against your property.  We will explain this to you at the time you apply.

Do I have to repay Legal Aid?

Sometimes yes, sometimes partly, and sometimes no.  This depends on things like:

  • The type of case (for example, applications for Protection Orders are not repayable);
  • Your income; and
  • Whether you receive any money or property from your case (for example, a relationship property settlement).

We can discuss with you the conditions we think are most likely to apply before you apply; and then confirm those details with you once your grant is processed by the Ministry of Justice.

What is the Family Legal Advice Service?

The Family Legal Advice Service (we in the business call it 'FLAS') is a limited, no-cost advice service for parenting and guardianship issues.  It is part of a broader range of funded services including mediation ('Family Dispute Resolution') and the Parenting through Separation information programme.  It can be accessed by eligible participants every 12 months.  In short, it can offer you a free appointment with us.

The funding eligibility for FLAS does not consider a person's assets or the income of their partner.

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