Did you know that couples are eligible for free relationship counselling through the Family Court? Relationships Aotearoa provides this counselling nationwide, the Family Court authorises and funds the counselling.
You can ask for free couple counselling to help resolve issues before you get to the point of separation or divorce. You don’t have to take legal proceedings or appear in court to be eligible for the counselling. This support is available to couples who are married, who have had a civil union, or who are in de facto relationships. It is available for both heterosexual and same sex couples and it is not means tested.
The free counselling is also available if you are separating and need some help to work out agreements about the care of your children. Counselling can provide a neutral and safe environment to discuss care arrangements for children. Counselling can help you to clarify issues, address communication problems, and make decisions about your relationship. Counselling may help you to avoid legal proceedings altogether.
Formal court appearances are usually best as a last resort for issues concerning separation and the care of children. Arrangements often work better when the people involved reach agreement together. The counselling can help you to do this. It is offered to anyone when they apply to the Family Court for a separation or a parenting order. You can also ask for this help when you are deciding these issues for yourselves without involving the Court.
The Family Court provides for up to three hours of free counselling, and either joint or individual sessions can be arranged. It is even possible to get counselling assistance when the two of you are living in separate towns. You can ask your local Relationships Aotearoa office to work with you to request a referral from the Court, or you can contact the Family Court directly.
Talk to your local Relationships Aotearoa office to find out more about the free couple counselling and how to apply for it. Look in Contact Us to find the phone number for your local office. You can also look at the Family Court website to find out more.