The Role of Psychologists in Light of Changes to the New Zealand Family Court
36 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016 Last revised: 12 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2015
In March 2014, dramatic changes to the Family Court came into force. These reforms were the result of extensive public and expert consultation, and amended a number of acts. The Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013 now requires couples engaged in guardianship or parenting disputes to attend mandatory mediation before filing proceedings in court. The legislation surrounding this new process has been vague, and left mainly up to regulation. A key driver of the reform was cost saving, and this has been evident in the reforms. There are concerns about the accessibility of these processes, and the lack of protection for children’s rights in these disputes. I conducted interviews with four professionals working in the area, and gathered their opinions on the changes, including any options they thought might be suitable for enactment in New Zealand. My essay reviews the legislative reform, and discusses ways in which psychologists could be involved to address some the issues highlighted with the new Family Court system.
Keywords: Family Court, Family Dispute Resolution Act, children's rights
JEL Classification: K36
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation