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Getting free Legal Advice Pt 5: Parenting through Separation

May 22, 2017

In the last few weeks, I have focused my blogs on how you can get free legal advice and assistance. I have done this because every week, Family Law Results receives more and more calls from people who are financially stretched and can’t afford a lawyer.

I am wrapping this theme up this week by writing about a free service that can help equip you for co-parenting your children after a separation – the Parenting through Separation programme (PTS). Parenting through Separation doesn’t provide legal advice or representation. However, as a lawyer I have seen it assist my clients to resolve their parenting dispute. The Course can help you:

  • understand your children’s needs;
  • understand how separation effects children;
  • work out how to make the best arrangements for your children;
  • provide you with practical tips about what you can do to help your children after a separation;
  • provide you with tools for communicating with the other parent.

Unless you have an urgent issue around the safety of you or your children, PTS should be the first call you make when you are trying to sort out the care of your children after a separation. The Family Court will not accept from you a non-urgent application about parenting arrangements unless you can show it your certificate to show you have completed Parenting Through Separation.

PTS is free. The course takes four hours, either in 1 session or split across 2 sessions. Don’t worry – you won’t be sitting in the course with your ex-partner. If your ex-partner also chooses to do the course, you will each be scheduled to attend separate courses.

There are a number of organisations throughout New Zealand that provide the PTS course, including Plunket and Barnardos. You can find other providers here.

Parenting through Separation has been running for several years now. I have had hundreds of clients attend the courses. I always ask them what they thought of the course. I have not had a single negative piece of feedback from my clients about it. The course isn’t just for people who have just separated. I have had clients who are well past their initial separation but who felt they were stuck in some negative co-parenting habits attend the course. As a mediator, I have also had mediation parties attend the course before coming to mediation. They also reported back positively about it.

Got a question about a parenting issue? Give Family Law Results a call on (09) 297 2010.


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