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DIY submissions to family court

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