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Our Expertise

We take great pride in the high calibre of our work and we take great joy being instrumental to our clients’ success.

Family Law

We have extensive experience in most aspects of Family Law matters.

 

  • Family Violence

Sometimes family relationships break down and there is violence between family members. Violence is not merely limited to physical abuse; it can also include psychological abuse such as threatening behaviour, harassment and other verbal abuse. Where family violence occurs, a person can apply to the Family Court for a protection order, which prevents the violent person from having contact with the protected person. We frequently help clients in applying for and defending against applications for a protection order. Below are some examples of cases we have done recently.

L v L. Our client was falsely accused by their spouse of strangulation. We represented our client in opposing the protection order. The spouse eventually admitted that they had made up the allegation of strangulation and the Court discharged the protection order accordingly.

Z v D. Our client was falsely accused by their former spouse of strangulation and various other forms of violence. We identified various inconsistencies and improbabilities in the former spouse’s evidence. At trial, the former spouse realised that it was difficult for them to win and thus settled on terms favourable to our client.

H v W. Initially, our client’s spouse obtained a without notice protection order against our client. We assisted the client in having the without notice protection order discharged. More recently, due to another incidence of family violence by the spouse against our client and the client’s parents, we successfully applied and obtained a protection order in our client’s favour.

 

  • Parenting order

When parents separate, the care of the children of the relationship can become a very heated contest. Parents may disagree on matters such as who should care for the children on a day-to-day basis, how often the other parent should see the children, and which school the child should go to. Where those arguments cannot be resolved the parties may have to seek the Court’s assistance in determining childcare matters. We frequently represent clients in these proceedings. Below are some of the cases we have done over the past few years.

C v C. We first obtained a protection order in favour of our client. The former spouse’s parents then took the child of the parties to China. We represented the client in the Family Court in the parenting order proceeding. In 2018, our client finally obtained day to day care rights of the child as well as a favourable relationship property settlement.

D v K. The former spouse obtained a protection order against our client. Protection orders usually automatically extend the protection to the children, meaning that our client had very limited opportunities to see their child. Through our representation, our client was able to prove to the Court that he is a fit parent with no risk of violence to the child. In 2019 the client eventually obtained weekly overnight contact with the child.

W v H. The former spouse obtained a protection order against our client, meaning that our client could only have contact with the child on a supervised basis. Through our representation, our client proved to the Court that there was never any risk of violence to the child and that it was in the best interest of the child to have extensive contact with our client. In 2020, our client eventually obtained three nights of overnight contact each week with the child.

Z v D. Our client and the former spouse initially had shared care of the child on a week about basis. But subsequently the former spouse sought exclusive day to day care of the child – trying to exclude our client’s 50% share of childcare. In 2021, we successfully forced the former spouse to drop this claim at trial. Our client maintained their 50% share of childcare.

 

  • Order preventing removal of children

Often following a breakup, one party may want to move away from New Zealand, and they often intend to take the children of the relationship with them. Once the children are taken, they may permanently lose contact with the other parent. This is when the other parent may need to apply for an order preventing the removal of children from New Zealand. We frequently make these applications and, in some cases, defend against them. in X v X, our client wished to take their children to China for a short trip to visit the family. The former spouse applied and obtained order preventing removal and thus ruined the client’s plan. In 2017, we successfully applied and obtained order discharging the order preventing removal of children. A significant feature of this case is that Daniel’s client obtained a costs award which is rare in Care of Child Act proceedings.

 

  • Dissolution of marriage includes single party application and joint application

People can only formally dissolve their marriage after two years of separation and the process involves obtaining an order from the Family Court. We assist clients in making these applications, and occasionally, it may be opposed by one party and becomes a defended proceeding.

 

  • Spousal maintenance

Sometimes a spouse may fail to provide for the other spouse during the relationship, or one partner may be unable to support themselves after separation because of the way the relationship worked. In certain circumstances, spouses and partners who find themselves in these situations can claim maintenance from the other spouse. We represent clients in negotiating in these claims and participating in court proceedings concerning these claims.

 

  • Child support

One or both parties to a separation may sometimes decide to depart from the standard child support regime managed by the IRD. We represent clients in these negotiations and court proceedings.

 

  • Paternity

Sometimes, a claim maybe made that a man is the father of a particular child. These claims are made in the Family Court or the High Court, and the Courts will determine whether that person is the father. We represent clients in these proceedings.

 

  • Intestacy

When a person dies, he or she leaves behind assets and liabilities which will need to be dealt with. If there is a will, the estate will need to be handled and distributed in accordance with the terms of the will; if there is no will then the estate will need to be handled and distributed in accordance to the law. We represent clients in various matters relating to inheritance law:

– A will is the best way to ensure the people you care about are looked after. In addition to specifying how you want your assets to be distributed, you can also stipulate how you want your children to be looked after. We can assist you in drafting a will that best carries out your wishes.

– If there is no will, we can represent clients in applying for a letter of administration in the High Court to become an administrator of the deceased person’s estate.

– At other times, an interested party may wish to dispute the way the estate is being handled. Perhaps the will made insufficient provision for them, or they were meant to be included but the deceased forgot to change the will. We can assist in negotiating and court proceedings for these sorts of issues.

 

Ammicus Law Immigration

We are able to provide advice and solutions for the full range of family law issues including:

  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Separation agreement
  • Dissolution of marriage includes single party application and joint application
  • Division of relationship property
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Parenting order and order of preventing removal of child from New Zealand
  • Child support
  • Care of children
  • Domestic violence
  • Adoption

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