Family and Relationships

Our professional Dunedin family law team provide advice in all areas of the law relating to children, separation, child and spousal maintenance, relationship property and claims against estates. Our family lawyers and family law specialists possess extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of family and relationship law and child custody laws, providing a confidential, sensitive and professional approach to what is often an emotional area.

  • Day to day care arrangements
  • Representation of children
  • Adoption
  • Custody
  • Guardianship 
  • Paternity
  • Action under the Children & Young Persons and their Families Act
  • Child abduction (domestic and international - Hague Convention)

Relationship Property (click here for more)
  • Relationship property agreements (matrimonial and de facto agreements)
  • Relationship property disputes (including complex situations involving businesses, farms or trusts)
  • Pre-marital (or pre-nuptial) agreements
  • Co-habitation contracts
  • Family trusts
  • Separation / dissolution of marriage
  • Matrimonial litigation 
  • Injunctions to prevent removal of assets overseas

  • Child Support Act
  • Spousal maintenance

Care of the Elderly and Disabled 
  • Issues involving the aged or infirm
  • Issues of mental health or capacity

Estate Claims 
  • Family protection cases
  • Testamentary promises claims
  • Disputes over wills

Domestic Violence 
  • Applications to the family court
  • Setting aside orders
  • Domestic protection

The best solutions are amicable ones. We have the knowledge and experience to achieve results through mediation - a less costly, less formal and often less stressful procedure than court proceedings. However, there are situations where court action is more appropriate and we are fully equipped to provide that service. 

If you need divorce lawyers or a family lawyer, contact any of
our family and relationships team. The team offers wide experience of the full spectrum of family law issues.  They also have the advantage of very strong commercial credentials making them unusually qualified to handle complex relationship property disputes involving companies, trusts and substantial assets. Jim and Gerard specialise particularly in separation, divorce law and relationship property.  Jim also has a particular specialty in the area of will disputes. 

Jim Guest   Gerard DeCourcy  



Downie Stewart Lawyers Dunedin 8th Level, 265 Princes St, Dunedin, 9016 03-477 2263
PO Box 1345, Dunedin 9054 |  Fax: 03 477 4021  |  E: