MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Survival Guide

Filed under: Law & Courts — Downunder @ 9:21 am Sun 18th December 2022


I haven’t read the book.

Description Courtesy of Whitcoulls:

Dealing with a relationship breakdown, custody dispute or other family or whanau crisis can be an overwhelming, emotional and stressful experience. The last thing you need is to be thrust into the unfamiliar territory of the family court system without a clue about how to navigate it. The New Zealand Family Court Survival Guide explains all your options when you need to make changes to your family situation and helps you to avoid unnecessary expense and upset. Drawing from her own experiences in the family court system, author Katrina Smithson offers easy-to-follow advice on how to navigate a separation that is fair and respectful to all parties, with a strong focus on children and how best to assist them in what can be a tough and confusing time. Heading into court proceedings with the right information is critical. The New Zealand Family Court Survival Guide is the only resource you need to manage this difficult time in the best way possible.

I don’t know the author:

There is a review here via RNZ

Smithson hopes The New Zealand Family Court Survival Guide will help people make better decisions, save money and create more efficiency in the family court system.

Audio: Interview on Nine To Noon (02 Mar 2021)


  1. I’ve just listened to the interview. Smithson sounds sensible and non-ideological, and I think her book would probably be useful to fathers.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Sun 18th December 2022 @ 4:07 pm

  2. It asks the question, is there a government version.
    As far as I’m aware, they provide nothing like it.
    When you first visit the lawyer, do you get a free version.
    A guide to spending less, on lawyers.
    A guide to resolving conflict, that both parties can use.
    A guide to safely leaving a partner, and money problems.
    A guide to timetables, that work well for children.

    Good on her writing a book, when we should already have it.
    If it saves just 1% of spending, it saved humans millions.
    If it stops conflict for 1% of kids, can that me measured.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 19th December 2022 @ 6:45 pm

  3. I bought this book a while ago. Haven’t read it yet. Did read former FC Judge Rosemary Riddell’s book. Laughed all the way through it because she kept on trying to paint herself as “fair”, yet every man I know who had her as a Judge found her biased against Fathers.

    I did skim through the above book and noted that there are only a few paragraphs dedicated to self represented people. Not much help then, is it ?

    Comment by golfa — Tue 20th December 2022 @ 12:15 pm

  4. The hardest part for self representation for New Zealand men is understanding the family court as a civil court rather than a criminal court which we see in our daily lives in various media.

    That’s before we consider the feminist thinking around protection orders.

    Just understanding how the opposition process their case and some of their tactics is helpful.

    Each case is unique, each reader will see the book from a different perspective.

    Probably the most important point is not to see the book as an answer but possibly some help in your case.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 20th December 2022 @ 6:15 pm

  5. Interesting using the emotion, of survival.
    Making the implication, that it’s life or death.
    Is that how things felt, to the books writer.
    Certainly for many men who suicide, it’s true.
    They couldn’t live with the situation, giving up.
    One must ask, what was worth ending life for.

    It’s hard to see, with time things can get better.
    We must accept, the family court is a new thing.
    Modern court just decades, and just thousands of years overall.
    If it’s survival at stake, it must become genetic.
    Those not coping with it, with early lives with less children.
    Those successful with it, surviving with more children.
    Darwin said using maths, time only needs 1% changes.

    Some things, that are for survival took ages.
    Think how long we had fire, before we explained it.
    Harnessed it, and made the modern world with it.
    If that was a million years, the family court is young.
    The family court may take time, before it’s not a survival thing.

    I doubt you could ever have, no failing parents.
    Or no criminal parents, no thief’s and no sex offenders.
    Estates and wills argued, or relationships ending.
    Humans made the invention, of the court.
    Is the court becoming safer, because for men it hasn’t.
    In just decades, thousands of extra men have died.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 20th December 2022 @ 6:17 pm

  6. With some women, it just comes down to she will trade access to your children if you give me your property, money or variants of that.

    If you own property, have a high income and or assets you become a very desirable partner.
    The concept that she owns half of what you have in 3 years (much less if she is with child) is no way acceptable. And here is why;

    Buying property can easily take 5 to 7 year’s savings, taking on a high mortgage. Existing on a very low budget and going without many things like travel, skiing, outings, a decent car and living in less than desirable accommodation. The pain does not end when you buy the property. It takes about a further 5 years of overtime to get the mortgage under control.

    There was some media talk to change this to 50% of the equity but that practical idea fizzed out. Undoubtedly it did not get the ministry for women rubber stamp.

    Protecting property has become more difficult over the years. Trusts have become more complexed to manage and require an IRD number. A prenuptial seem to diminish over time.

    MGTOW – Men going their own way usually only happens when he has taken a hit. Their response is to call it a “toxic male separatist movement”. I note has been taken down. Wondering if it was blocked or removed.

    Comment by Lukenz — Wed 21st December 2022 @ 12:42 pm

  7. I have survived work, and my holiday has started.
    Beginning with a monarch butterfly, flying just inches away.
    I can remember a Christmas, still young but living MGTOW.
    There must be one, as I was celibate for more than a year.
    Nearly a true statement now, despite my relationship.
    It’s like a punishment, with my illness that increases sex drive.

    When you experience the price of sex, it can really hurt emotionally.
    Unpacking my experience, would need a psychological exam.
    By experience, it really is a life changing thing.
    Decisions can be made for you, and you can’t stop it.
    Your own desires to much, and you can’t stop it.
    Life somehow to short, to be MGTOW.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 21st December 2022 @ 4:10 pm

  8. @6 if you go back a few years to the pre trump era there was a significant momentum around the US republicans of men’s groups.

    A Voice for men was a significant group and there were a series of conferences in the US and even Australia.

    The sands have shifted over the past few years and there has definitely been censorship of significant figures. The name escapes me at the moment but the female psychologist who was very anti feminist is one who cones to mind.

    Post Covid I think we are yet to see where the dust settles on some issues.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Wed 21st December 2022 @ 6:40 pm

  9. When I first experienced this, I thought it a bad idea.
    While most people are honest, many are not.
    For some theft may be about survival, but in NZ.
    Once how to be dishonest is known, can it work.
    The losses start to grow, and it’s stoped.
    Was it poverty of the benefit, or the relationships problems.
    What could make a person, set out to steal.

    So what are the loses, of self checkout.
    How many others, have also done similar offending.
    Is this just one dishonesty, when there’s many others.
    I can think myself, other ways of scamming it.

    Stores must have an error, at stocktaking.
    Things wrongly scanned, or not even scanned.
    Does the loss cost more, than a checkout person.
    The robots cheaper, even with more theft.
    Could a similar scam, get by a human anyway.

    “On Wednesday, Barriball appeared in court, where he pleaded guilty to six charges of obtains by deception.”

    Geez for such a small sum, there’s a prosecution.
    Obtains by deception, could mean anything.
    Compared to relationship thefts, it looks even smaller.
    Justice must be who you are stealing from, not how much.


    The robots will follow you, watching every move.
    For little price, a store may have hundreds of robot eyes.
    Stocking shelves and cleaning, all spying watching you.
    Even ones that help, to carry your things or guide you.
    Cameras observing every aisle, AI monitored.
    Every item you take, itemised automatically.
    Without scanning items, you will pay at the door.

    When that’s true, would humans still try stealing.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 21st December 2022 @ 11:57 pm

  10. @8. Do you mean Janice Fiamengo who is a professor in Ottawa Canada? Over many years she pumped out series of educational videos exposing feminism is all about special privileges, advantages, special exemptions from responsibility.

    Wiki still has feminism is all about equality and MGTOW as a hate group. Even going so far as saying MGTOW propagate extensive and wide-ranging passive or undirected harassment and misogyny. That is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women.

    I found why site doesn’t work anymore. It was closed down by Reddit for violating their policy on promoting hate.

    Moving forward to 2023, many boys have witnessed how their dad was cheated out of his home, belongings, his relationship with his kids and do not want to be put in the same situation. They are schooled up by caring fathers on how to protect assets, how to keep themselves from being fleeced.

    I do not believe men hate women. They just hate losing their home, everything in that home on a misleading allegation. Men hate being the subject of false sex allegations after consensual sex, media trials and ruined reputations regardless of the verdict. Men hate being treated as second class citizens who deserve much harsher sentences. Men hate paying child support for children he didn’t father. Men hate being hauled into the managers office to hear how he was caught glancing at a 22 year old female in an inappropriate skirt and low cut top.

    MGTOW or variants of it is about protecting a mans wellbeing and property rights. Yes – it is a hard line tool. However it is much softer than the incumbent structure and feminist ideology that incorporates government departments namely, the family court, the police, criminal courts, employment tribunal, every industry authority, inland revenue, work and income, ministry for women, department of corrections, the violence program industry.

    It must be very annoying for her to no longer get her hooks into him, his stuff.

    How protecting oneself could ever be construed as hate is beyond rational thinking and a further attack on men.

    In a single sentence “men hate how they are treated by women and government”.

    Comment by Lukenz — Thu 22nd December 2022 @ 11:52 am

  11. Hate is a harsh word, as what’s worse than hate.

    Sites getting shut down, due to spreading hate.
    I am guessing, some men do say bad things.
    Showing complete disregard, for women’s rights.
    To the extreme we have reality, in Afghanistan.
    Is just talking about them, spreading hateful thoughts.

    If men say hateful things, do women say hateful things.
    If you have complete disregard for men, are you shut down.
    Does the most extreme nation, exist for men’s rights removed.
    As Afghan women have no rights, where do men have no rights.

    Is the actual hateful comments, just an excuse.
    If you didn’t want men’s opinion, shut it down.
    Some hateful comments, a convenient justification.
    The only opinion becomes MGTOW, involves hate for women.

    Do men hate women, or is it women hate MGTOW.
    Strangely both nations abuse is about sex, as the problem.
    One nation abuses women’s rights, one abuses men’s rights.
    One abuses desire, one is just to scared for desire.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 22nd December 2022 @ 11:24 pm

  12. I got to see my mother today, and it’s been awhile.
    I am lucky my mother wasn’t abusive, everything is easy to forgive.
    For a man to hate women, that must be true for there mothers.
    Whatever the hate demands, is also true for there own mother.

    The criminal teenager, has society questioning the parent.
    It can for some crimes, be the first question asked.
    What was your relationship, with your mother like.
    The abusive mother, a cause of bad outcomes.

    For my mother dealing with me, it was a string of events.
    Accidents and my illness her innocent, in hindsight she did well.
    I for one can’t blame my mistakes, on my mother.
    Yet for some men, trying to forgive the mother is real.

    Should the argument, about hating women.
    Then become talk of the sister, or of my daughter.
    You may hate, the guilty of the bad act.
    But can you hate, a person by identity when innocent.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 23rd December 2022 @ 6:15 pm

  13. Hi all – thank you for adding my interview link and book to your page. I do believe it will be a useful read for all men who are either going through the family court or who are encountering a separation or divorce that involves asset division considerations or parenting plans. I know this is a very emotive topic, and I can assure you that I have experienced (first as a child, and later as an adult) all the issues that worry you as men/fathers/uncles/brothers. I have therefore written this book in a way that is completely gender/role neutral. I also wrote this book with the hope that others can learn from my mistakes and experiences so that they don’t have to keep “reinventing the wheel” with their own cases. Best of luck and kind regards, Katrina

    Comment by Katrina Smithson — Thu 5th January 2023 @ 12:18 am

  14. Happy new year, and thanks John for helping.

    Some people don’t survive, the family court.
    To solve things, they go to extremes.
    One extreme, is just taking the children.
    Thankfully the police, have found the children.

    “Court documents show she is accused of absconding with the children to avoid them being placed with a court-directed caregiver.”

    What does that mean, as it doesn’t say the father.
    There has to be more, for a mother to be rejected.
    As I understand it, there must be neglect or abuse.
    Or the mother sectioned, due to mental health.
    Or is this just code words, for shared care with the father.

    “The girls are safe and well and will be returned to family who are extremely relieved at this news.“

    That could be the father, but it doesn’t say that.

    “The woman separated from her husband on December 5, 2016 and left for the Middle East on the same day, the timeline says. She then returned to New Zealand in 2019 and got divorced.”

    So for at least a few years, she abandoned the children.
    This is a mistake, many men make.
    The relationship ends, with a period of no contact.
    The other parent by default, getting custody.
    When the court battle starts, that time counts.
    The children, may not even remember the parent.

    Despite the article, we can’t come to conclusions.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 5th January 2023 @ 9:01 am

  15. To write the book, family law can’t be working.
    This clearly shows, law not working.

    I think the assumption is rubbish, to blame house prices.
    There is so many reasons, just as influential.
    More broken relationships, already hurt by the law.

    “She estimated that in the past about 5% of marriages would have a prenup, now it was closer to 25%.”

    If relation property law was correct, nobody would need a prenup.

    “Helping prepare prenups used to make up about 1-2% of Chambers’ practice’s work. Now it was about 30%.”

    What a surprise, guess who is cashing in on the law.
    Family law made by lawyers, for the benefit of lawyers.
    Simple, make a law that’s contradictory.

    “A relationship is generally deemed to be de facto if the couple have lived together for three​ years, although there were other variables that a judge could take into account – such as if they’re in a sexual relationship, whether they had children, and whether friends and family consider the relationship to be de facto.”

    Just wow, can you imagine the bullshit that goes on.
    Just have sex, and you can get half of everything.
    Lie about being on the pill, and you get half.
    Refuse to work to be a stay home mum, getting half.
    Financial predators, just manipulating events to get 50:50.
    Even the prenup, is no protection in court.

    It hasn’t worked, for decades.
    And it’s only getting better, for the lawyers.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sun 15th January 2023 @ 10:33 am

  16. What are they surviving, what is the emotions for it.
    So for men, we know this is a problem.
    Stay at home mothers, rarely suicide.
    Profoundly in comparison, the dead are fathers.

    Are they feeling rage, or is it despair they are surviving.
    Have they lost everything, with nothing to gain in the future.
    Is it anxiety from public shaming, for wrongs even trivial ones.
    Something precious to them, like children is taken away.

    So for some it is about survival, whatever trap the mind is in.
    Can society see, when we do this to people.
    More and more, society says it’s depressed.
    Society then turns a blind eye, to men’s emotions.

    Maybe a thousand extra men, just for this three year parliament.
    Statistically, we can apply survival rates.
    Measuring experience, with suicide rates.
    We could ask for a Minister for Men, but this is NZ in the third millennium.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 16th January 2023 @ 5:24 pm

  17. I can think of a time, when decisions were about survival.
    My financial situation, was as bad as it gets.
    All I had was $10, and a week of food to buy.
    The situation the same, for some weeks.

    I can only blame myself, for my predicament.
    Child support had arrived, backdating and penalties.
    And my trusting others, with large fines on my cars.
    Then my choice of a minimum wage job, for my own needs.

    Apparently I’m a little Irish, hence my solution was potatoes.
    A budget $10 bag, to last the week.
    Living in a caravan, the cooking options were limited.
    I was thin weighing about 75 kg, today much rounder at 100 kg.

    When I got more money, it improved to $1 pies and bread.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 24th January 2023 @ 5:17 pm

  18. Well I have to say that while I’m going through the family law mincer now with 2 children that my exes lawyer are using as a tool for negotiating spousal support from me to maintain her lifestyle that Family law has become the feminist wild west….

    Once we sell the house (that took me 10 years to save, buy land, design, build and landscape) and I’m forced to sell in a falling market that I will take that money and get smarter using international laws, cook island or other trusts, and set up a company to put some levels of protection in there so that I only lose once…

    This lesson will cost me $300K… but never again

    The fact family lawyers can act entitled because they know the laws are bias towards men in application is incomprehensible. as well as Stuff journalists turning general events into a feminist warcry – and it’s somehow ok and not censored in incredible.

    I always believed men have a strong role in society, but the fact women can hold so much power over you with baseless claims and simply living with you for 3 years is incredible

    Time to live on our own terms… and make sure we protect ourselves as you can 100% be sure the government or court system will not stand up for men, we are getting villianised in society by left wing feminists… and the result is that good men are paying the price

    Comment by Separated Dad — Thu 26th January 2023 @ 9:55 pm

  19. #18 Separated Dad. If you are in Auckland, I suggest you click on the link at the top of the page that says “Support for men”, click on the Hillsbro support group (not sure why it STILL says that as we have moved to Epsom) and attend we’re there on Thursday evenings. You’ll get the best free advice no money can buy. There is a Lawyer present just to keep an eye on the legal side but generally we try to give you suggestions to take back to your own Lawyer (which will make them realize that you are not solely relying on them to take the path THEY want.) You are paying to bill, so getting them to do what you want is important. Their first duty is to the Court, you are down the list. We don’t accept that. Hope to see you on Thursday.

    Comment by golfa — Fri 27th January 2023 @ 4:00 pm

  20. @18 I am deeply sorry for the loss of your family and all the hard work you did to create a home and life for them.

    I am resigned to the fact the system is unlikely to change any time soon. With some 7000 family court cases a year the government would be stupid to allow men better terms. If they did, the government would have to pay for these women. Thats not going to happen.

    You and millions of fathers and men around the world are being charged a much higher tax to pay for the lifestyle of women and their choices.

    Living in a country that is more favourable to men, fathers and property rights could be an option.

    Comment by Lukenz — Tue 31st January 2023 @ 9:50 am

  21. Your last sentence, is what immigration debates are about.
    The people leaving a nation, because of how they are treated.
    Unavoidably it’s about money, taken and then living in poverty.

    But if everyone did that, then nobody solves the problem.
    Whatever is wrong with the nation, is never addressed.
    Whatever harms people, that made poverty doesn’t stop.

    So the solution, cannot be running away.
    Otherwise the flow of people, doesn’t stop.
    Normalised and accepted, more and more will migrate.

    What then of those nations, losing countless people.
    And statistics show men do leave NZ, on family court issues.
    So how do we measure NZ, on the international stage.

    Certainly we accept asylum seekers, but is it less than we make.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 31st January 2023 @ 6:07 pm

  22. I have just been informed, there’s a warrant for my arrest.
    It’s seems my act of protest, has not gone away.
    Geez I’m far more prepared, for a court battle.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 1st February 2023 @ 10:39 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar