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DIY submissions to family court

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — Divorced_Man @ 9:22 am Sat 13th October 2012

Good morning fathers,

I don’t have any intention to flood you with all my legal documentation, however as part of my theory that family court is a “zero-sum game”, I take action and not letting any response from the other side to be left without an answer.

I do it without a lawyer and wish to help other parents understand that it is possible. Yesterday I filed one new affidavit (it is published in full at my blog) and two submissions. Even that it is not perfect – I think it is better than getting caught with lawyers and bills.

I wrote this to court late at night (it was my last day to file anything and I don’t really have the time for it!) so when I was re-reading what I wrote I found grammar and spelling mistakes… no fear! There is nothing in the law that force you to be 100% perfect in English grammar – the law is supposed to be honest for everyone – regardless of race, education level, skin colour, sex orienation etc…, and there is nothing in the law that connects between one’s spelling mistakes (or lack of legal knowledge) and the ability to be a good father.

I attach here below only one of my submissions – the short one – (the affidavit and the other one are too long for this post). You can always use it as a template, and I hope to publish a full set of templates and a DIY family court tutorial in the future.

I hope I helped!



FAM 2011-{{court_file_number}}
FAM 2011-{{court_file_number}}

{{my_name}} – APPLICANT ,
{{ex_name}} – RESPONDENT

Submission to court: surrender of {{documents}}

Dated: 11th of October 2012

1. In my original application I have asked the court to allow me access to my children’s {{documents}}

2. The court has accepted my request and ordered the respondent to supply me a certified copy of the {{documents}} within 14 days. This has been ordered more than 3 months ago.

3. The respondent has failed to do as the court ordered. In all the recent hearings I raised this issue, and the respondent’s lawyer has assured the judge that “she is taking care of it”. This has happened in all hearings while in fact she was not doing so

4. The {{documents}} were issued in {{Europe}} and there is no way to get additional copy from the authorities there.

5. There is nothing in the law discriminating between the mother and the father, i.e. nothing in the law is saying that the mother, and not the father, should hold the kids’ {{documents}}.

6. According to our separation agreement, me as the father is required to action property ownership changes on behalf of the children in which the respondent is not required to do. For those property ownership changes I require to have an original copy of the {{documents}}. The {{overseas}} regulator will not accept copies of original {{country}} documents certified in New Zealand.

7. The court has ordered the respondent to supply me with certified copies of the {{documents}}, but she has failed to do so. She is ignoring all my requests, letters and communication in regard.

8. I ask the court to order the original documents to be surrendered to me, with an order by consent that I will supply the respondent with certified copies of the documents within 14 days of the time I receive them.

{{my name}}, applicant


  1. Nah. It’ll never work. You should be pressing straight for hewr to be done for contempt of court, if the court has already directed her repeatedly to surrender the documents.

    Comment by peter — Sat 13th October 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  2. How do you go for contempt? the judge ignored it 3 times and just ordered again “do it please”

    Comment by Divorced Man — Sun 14th October 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  3. There are heaps of forms already in the Family Court Rules.
    I have not followed your stuff but it seems you want a general form.
    Form G 15
    Order for discovery of documents
    I see you are Wellington based.
    UoF meets each week in Kapiti.
    22 Margaret Road, 7:30pm Tuesday nights if you want more help with applications.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sun 14th October 2012 @ 3:54 pm

  4. Yep this sounds right for the femily caught.
    You need a court order to enforce the court order enforcing the court order.
    The clown on the bench and all the other circus monkeys get paid extremely well to be extremely ineffective, why hasnt the woman been given any form of censure for ignoring the original order.
    Lucky you can represent yourself rather than being bled dry by another hanger-on to this corrupt system
    Wish you the best

    Comment by mits — Sun 14th October 2012 @ 7:12 pm

  5. They will NOT enforce there own orders – and the Rules of family shambles refuse to allow anyone else from enforcing there court orders as well – even the Police are prevented from acting – Sorry its family court we ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ACT – been there done that – had the horrible experience. And the system wonders why we have to take matters into our own hands.????

    Comment by hornet — Sun 14th October 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  6. The femily cuaght$ upholding court orders in favor of men?

    Comment by Skeptic — Mon 15th October 2012 @ 12:35 am

  7. Allan – thanks for replies (all) – I login once a week so just saw it.

    You can submit a new application after you had one. What you could submit, is “a submission” but not an application. I already applied, we had proceedings – in three of them she had 14 days to surrender documents. It has not happened.

    I did notice that the system is very manipulative – i.e. when I earned a win (i.e. court order), no one did anything – they continued to negotiate.

    I do wish however to go on contempt, I just don’t know how to do it. I told the judge many times already that it is abusing court decisions – nothing happened. The registrar sent me back to her lawyer, which is basically ignoring all communication.

    Comment by Divorced Man — Sat 20th October 2012 @ 8:01 am

  8. Mits – representing myself was the starting point. It is “zero sum game” since you can’t really earn anything, but you are forced to play it. There are rules how to play zero sum game – in family court I would say NEVER take a lawyer, unless it is crucial (like violence against children etc)

    Comment by Divorced Man — Sat 20th October 2012 @ 8:05 am

  9. JUDICIAL VIEWS on shared parenting……. this subject is important. IT was one of the biggest concerns I have had, when trying to get more time with my child – and now I see its the view of the JUDICIARY that is NOT something they want or believe in – so fathers until that opinion is reversed – we will all STRUGGLE to get more time with our children from any decision in the family court – If I had know this from the start = I would have stopped trying.

    Judges comments as taken from Childrens Rights and Families – Proceedings of Social Policy Forum 2000.

    GAULT J – “Any arrangement by which a child spends substantial TIME WITH EACH parent has the potential for HARM to the child arising from inconsistent activities influences and living patterns. …….. I think that difficulties are likely to be less when primary responsibility for the care of the child rests with one parent rather than with both…….”

    Judge McCormack ” I DO NOT support the concept of week about shared care arrangement in principle because I believe that the nomadic lifestyle it necessitates is ultimately disorientating and destabilising for children….”

    HORNET says – I do NOT SUBSCRIBE to this way of thinking – in fact in my case by allowing the mother more time with the child – to the detriment of the child having quality and regular time with her father, and allowing every bad behavior imaginable to make that time difficult – it has only assisted in alienating me from the childs life, it has prevented the child from having any BALANCE – thats why children have two parents – by seeing both parents equally, and sharing in BOTH families that can only be a benefit in my view – so fathers – this is what we are up against = ideological cretins who believe it is there view over that of the parents………

    These comments are at the core of why the system is wrong!!!!!

    Comment by hornet — Mon 5th November 2012 @ 9:30 am

  10. Yep,
    The start point should be shared care, and there should be extenuating circumstances required for anything else. The judges referred to are assuming that this “nomadic” lifestyle is somehow more damaging than depriving a child of contact with the (now) none custodial parent. If children reside with an aggrieved (in my case) man hating victim, surely they will model themselves on that particular role model . Far from ideal i think.
    An extremely good friend of mine has recently had the ex take the children 8 hours away, in breach of a parenting order, and the courts have done nothing to return them. They have ordered social workers reports etc etc but if he wants to see them, the cost impost rests on his shoulders. Is that not a f….g outrage.
    Imagine if he had taken off in the same vein. They would have done a dotcom on him.

    Comment by shafted — Mon 5th November 2012 @ 10:30 am

  11. And whats more – HE IS NOT able to claim any of the travel costs against Child Support deductions – I had a three hour ( sometimes four in heavy traffic ) round trip to see my child, and when I asked for a deduction as to costs against child support – forget it mate – thats your hard luck. There are Too many double standards = too many obstacles, too much bias and discrimination for this to be nothing more than a total sham. So where to from here….I see the latest closeup pays some lip service to this problem – but its only scratching the service to give the the public the impression of fair and impartial reporting on this issue……..

    Comment by hornet — Mon 5th November 2012 @ 10:45 am

  12. To add insult to injury-i just got mail from IRD. I complained that my ex had lied in admin review which is stated to be an offence under the act. Also complained that i was not privy to any information (financial) prior to the hearing, unlike her who had full access to mine. Have been advised that as far as they are concerned, that as the proceeding does not require an oath, they do not consider that an offence has been committed, and furthermore, have advised that it is up to the review officers discretion as to whether she accepts information at the hearing. they have helpfully pointed out that i am free to see what remedies i may or may not have in the family court.
    I am fed up

    Comment by shafted — Mon 5th November 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  13. You could send an email to
    [email protected] Subject: Attn – MICHELLE ROBINSON

    Michelle is the author of this article.

    If people can lie to falsify the amount of child support in New Zealand and then have it collected from paying parents in Australia by the IRD – you never know she just might see the injustice of that and write something up.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 5th November 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  14. There are some interesting cut-off dates on this article but I don’t know if I see all of
    them center to heart. There is some validity however I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further.

    Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

    Comment by Olen — Mon 3rd December 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  15. The family court will never enforce a court order made in the family court.. that is my experience.. they just continually ask nicely for the female party to provide the required documentation/ evidence.. but do nothing when she does not.. multiple times over…

    The whole system appears to be a scam…. shame on the NZ Department of Justice…

    Comment by justiceforall — Thu 21st March 2013 @ 6:11 pm

  16. can anyone advise which forms to use for appealing a decision?

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Tue 18th February 2014 @ 7:54 pm

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