Family

Family law matters can be incredibly sensitive and full of high emotions. If you're in a situation where you need family law advice, our team of trusted lawyers are here to guide you and can provide pragmatic support and expert advice. Our team of family lawyers are legal aid approved. Get in touch with one of our friendly team to see if you qualify.

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What can we help you with?

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Adoption

At Lawhub, we work with families who are wanting to adopt a child and families who are wanting to put a child up for adoption.

Our family law team will support and guide you through the adoption process — We’ll help you liaise with Oranga Tamariki and will assist you with your application to the Family Court for an Adoption Order.

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Paternity

Paternity is about establishing who the father of a child is. If paternity is contested, we can help you apply to the Family Court to have the matter resolved,

There are two ways in which the Family Court can establish paternity:

• The mother of a child can ask the court to make a Paternity Order to say that a man is her child’s father
• A person can ask the court to make a Declaration of Paternity to declare that a man is (or is not) a child’s father

Once paternity has been determined by the court, the child’s father can apply for guardianship of the child and to have contact with the child, and may be liable for child support. If you need help with a paternity matter, get in touch with our Family Law team who can guide you through it.

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Protection of Personal and Property Rights (PPPR)

The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (“PPPR Act”) aims to protect the personal and property rights of people who cannot fully manage their own affairs.

Where a person does not have, or has lost capacity, and there are no enduring power of attorneys appointed, an application to the Family Court will be required to appoint a welfare guardian and a property administrator or manager. This person can be a family member, an independent person, or an independent body, such as the Public Trust.

If one of your loved ones has lost capacity, and there are no enduring power of attorneys appointed, our team of trusted family law advisors can make an application to the Family Court on your behalf, for the Court to formally appoint a family member to act on behalf of them.


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Relocation

If you are wanting to relocate with your child to another city or town in New Zealand and your child's other parent does not consent to this, please get in touch with our team for advice and if appropriate, we can help with applying to the Family Court for a guardianship direction. If you're in the other position, where your child's other parent is the one who is wanting to relocate with your child, we can also assist you with your application for these orders.


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Care and Protection (Oranga Tamariki)

If Oranga Tamariki are wanting to bring your child under the child protection laws and monitor what’s happening with your child, they’ll first need to go in front of a Family Court Judge and apply for official court orders.

Because you are the parent, you’ll be given a copy of Oranga Tamariki’s application for care or Protection Orders and will also be notified when the case is going to be seen in the Family Court.

When this happens, it’s important to seek legal advice straight away. Our family law team can support you through the proceedings — helping you to understand your rights and find a resolution. 

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Parenting Disputes

Coming to an agreement about parenting arrangements with your previous partner can be stressful and difficult. 

If parents are unable to agree on things themselves, the Family Court will establish a Parenting Order to outline who has day-to-day care of your child/children, and what the contact rules of each parent will be. 

Co-parenting can be difficult but our family law team can guide you through the steps you need to take and can negotiate arrangements on your behalf, to come to a resolution that works for all parties involved, and is best for your children.

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Guardianship

A legal guardian is defined as an adult who has the same responsibilities as a biological parent — they are responsible for the care and upbringing of a child and make decisions regarding the child’s life. 

The biological parents of a child may be automatically legal guardians of a child at birth, and if so both will remain legal guardians even if they separate. There are obligations on each parent/guardian to consult with the other on all guardianship decisions. For instance, where the child will live, where they go to school and health matters. If guardians cannot agree then our team can assist you to make an application to the Family Court for the matter to be decided by a Judge.

If you are a parent wanting to appoint another adult as a guardian, such as a new partner or grandparent, our family law team can guide you through this process with the Family Court. 

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Child Support

Child support is designed to ensure that both parents are financially supporting the child fairly when they are not living together. If you have separated from your partner, and have children, your parenting arrangements may mean that your children spend the majority of their time living with one parent more than the other. ‍

You can apply for child support if the child is predominantly living with you and you are the primary carer for them. ‍If you are needing to apply for child support or would like to understand more about child support payments, our family law team can provide legal advice and can guide you through the application process with IRD.


If you have had an administrative review and are not happy with the outcome, you may have grounds to appeal IRD’s decision to the Family Court. There are strict timeframes so get in touch to see if you have grounds and whether we can assist you to file an appeal. If you alternatively find yourself in the position of wanting to take an administrative review of your child support assessment for what you are assessed to pay, or receive, get in touch.

Leverage the expertise of our dedicated specialist, Aileen Odgers, who brings firsthand knowledge from her previous work as a child support officer at IRD. Reach out her today to tap into her invaluable insights and experience.

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Family Violence

Family violence includes physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse that is inflicted by a person in a close relationship with you.

If you or a dependant are currently experiencing violence from someone you have a close relationship with, please get in touch with our team immediately so that we can work with the police and courts to help keep you and your children safe. 

If you have been served with a protection order and you want to defend it, contact our team immediately. There are strict time frames for responding to these applications.

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Are Legal Fees Holding You Back From Seeking Professional Legal Help?

Discover how legal aid can provide the support you need. At Lawhub, we are proud to be an approved legal aid provider in family law, relationship property matters, and employment law for employees. Click below to see if legal aid can help support you and your unique circumstances.

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Family Specialists

Georgia Allen

Georgia has extensive experience in family law, with a particular focus on Oranga Tamariki, Family Violence, and Care of Children matters.

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Senior Associate- LLB, BA

Family and General Law
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Aileen Odgers

Aileen is a Principal at Lawhub, based in Christchurch. She has extensive knowledge in Family, Surrogacy, Relationship Property/Matrimonial, General Law

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Principal - LLB

Family, Surrogacy, Relationship Property/Matrimonial, General Law
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Robb Bautista

Robb specialises in is Family Law, and also assists other practice areas when required.

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Senior Solicitor - LLB

Family, Wills and General Law
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