About Family Dispute Resolution

What we do

We help separating, separated parents and other extended family members, guardians and caregivers to find solutions to day-to-day care of their children and other issues by facilitating discussions for family dispute resolution.

We make sure children’s thoughts and feelings are always heard and any agreements made are always in their best interests.

How we can help

We can help you every step of the way by taking into account your unique issues and providing coaching so you can better communicate your interests.

We have child consultants who will meet with your children individually and make sure that their thoughts and feelings are conveyed in the Family Mediation meetings.

You will be supported by professional, experienced Family Mediators who will work with you and all parties involved until you reach an agreement.

We’ll help you face your challenges as a separated parent through the ‘Parenting through Separation’ programme accredited by the Ministry of Justice.

Where it is offered

Family Works Northern provides Family Dispute Resolution Services throughout the upper North Island.

Services are available in:

Family Mediation

Family Mediation – NZSL

Stage 1

Familiarising Yourself with the Process

Once you ring us, one of our friendly service center coordinators will talk you through the family dispute resolution process. Read more >

Stage 2

Discussing Your Situation

A Family Mediator will meet with you for a maximum of 60 minutes. At this point, you will be able to describe your situation in more detail. Read more >

Stage 3


You will have a one-on-one coaching session with a qualified coach where you can get some tips on how to approach the other party and how to communicate your thoughts and feelings effectively.
Read more >

Stage 4

Family Mediation Meetings

With your Family Mediator in attendance, you and the other party will be invited to sit in the same room (unless safety is a concern) and discuss the issues. The Family Mediator will help you to have a productive session, working towards an agreement. Read more >

Find out more about our Family Mediation services






Get in touch with us

Phone: 0800 RESOLVE (0800 737 6583)

What others say

"I was happy to hear that the children didn’t need to be dragged through courts. The judges don’t know us or the children so the mediation option was really good."

About Family Works

Family Works provides a range of social services that support families and children. We are contracted to the Ministry of  Justice to provide a full range of Family Dispute Resolution services.

Family Counselling

Enabling families to work through their conflict.

Parenting Programmes

Encouraging and improving parenting skills.

Helping tackle poverty

Emergency food parcels and intensive financial mentoring.

Family Workers

Walking alongside families, helping them rebuild their lives.


Helping boys and girls work through the pain they struggle to express.


Partnering with other agencies. Creating stronger communities together.

Want to know more about Family Works Northern? Find out more

Are you located in the South Island? Visit Family Works Central

Family Violence or Abuse

If you fear your (ex) partner and/or you are being physically or emotionally abused by your (ex) partner, you can ring the Shine family violence Helpline for confidential support and information at 0508-744-633. This Helpline is free to call from any phone in New Zealand, and operates 7 days a week throughout the year, from 9am to 11pm. Shine Helpline staff will listen and help, and can provide information, safety planning advice, and referrals to other related domestic abuse services.

For more information about Shine and more about family violence/abuse…


How to do Christmas when you’re separated

How to do Christmas when you’re separated

Timothy McMichael, Family Works Resolution Service manager and winner of the NZ Law Awards Mediator of the Year, speaks to Jesse Mulligan about how separated parents can plan a happy, conflict-free Christmas holiday for their children.

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