Our work

We are able to assist and represent anyone who has a “family” law dispute. We try to solve matters by negotiation and agreement first, but if that is not possible, we can appear in Court with you.

Meeting with us

At McWilliam Tyree we will ensure that you have clarity throughout the legal process, starting with our legal fees and what you can expect.

We appreciate that seeking legal advice can be a daunting experience. Knowing where to turn for reliable advice can be bewildering, often combined by uncertainty over costs.

McWilliam Tyree is committed to providing high quality, competitively priced legal advice and services. The right advice at the right time can make all the difference in achieving the best possible outcome. To make sure you feel confident in seeking legal advice, we will discuss our costs with you from the outset.

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How we can help

Separation Issues

Separation is a difficult time and many issues suddenly become extremely urgent, including occupation of the family home, division of relationship property, childcare arrangements, and financial support.

Childcare Issues

This used to be referred to as “custody” and “access”, but is now referred to as “day-to-day care” and “contact”. We can assist you to resolve disputes about arrangements for the care of children in the immediate period after separation, or further down the track, and also help with disputes about making decisions about things like where the children go to school, where they live, and whether they can travel overseas (“guardianship disputes”). There have been major changes to the way the Family Court operates, and sometimes lawyers are not allowed to appear in Court with you, however we can provide advice and prepare documents for you to assist you in navigating your way through the system.

Domestic Violence

We can provide urgent assistance if you need help, including obtaining Protection Orders. If there is urgency, a Protection Order can be obtained within a day.

Division of Relationship Property

We can assist you with working out the division of property after the end of a relationship, including valuing assets, preparing separation agreements, and if necessary, using the Family Court to resolve property issues.

Contracting Out Agreements

The purpose of a contracting out agreement (commonly known as as “pre-nups”) is to ensure that your property remains your separate property so that a new partner does not become entitled to a share in your property on separation or death.

Spousal Maintenance and Child Support

We can advise you about spousal maintenance and child support issues, help with IRD administrative reviews, and prepare applications to the Family Court if agreements can’t be reached about spousal maintenance or child support.


This is officially called “dissolution”. We can either help you prepare your own application, or do the whole thing for you. We can arrange for it to be served on your ex-partner if necessary.


We can assist you if you wish to adopt a child, or if you wish to get advice about the effect of agreeing to your child being adopted.


If you need to find out for sure who the father is of the child, we can help you to arrange DNA tests, and if necessary, take steps to have the other parent recorded on the birth certificate.

Oranga Tamariki

We can help you work through the process with OT.

Hague Convention and Border Alerts

If you think that your child, or children, are about to be taken out of the country without your consent, we can obtain a Border Alert within an hour. If your child, or children, has already been taken out of New Zealand without your knowledge or consent, you need to contact us immediately.

Estate Litigation – Family Protection and Testamentary Promises Claims

If you believe you have not been properly provided for under a Will, we can advise you on the options which might be available to you and represent you in any negotiations and/or through the Court process.

Family Legal Assistance Scheme (FLAS)

We provide advice about childcare arrangements and separation as part of the Ministry of Justice Family Legal Assistance Scheme. Please contact reception to discuss whether you are financially eligible for this service.

Change of Sex on Birth Certificate

If you are a transgender person, and want to change the sex recorded on your birth certificate, then we can help you prepare your application to the Court.

Protection of Personal and Property Rights (PPPR) and Capacity Issues

If you are concerned that someone you know has lost the ability to make decisions for themselves, and that person does not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, we can assist in preparing applications to the Court to appoint one or more people to make decisions for the person.

We can also assist in the review of such orders, or in addressing concerns which might arise as part of such orders.

If your issue is not on our list, please check with us as it may still be something that we can help with.