When applying for orders under CoCA, whānau need to be aware of the possible costs involved in the family justice system:
It costs approximately $900 for family dispute resolution, which is mediation. The cost is shared between the parties. If whānau qualify for legal aid then it will be free.
There is a $220 application fee when applying for a parenting order unless you get a waiver. If whānau qualify for legal aid the fee will be waived.
If the court appoints a lawyer for tamariki, the court may make an order that the whānau involved in the court proceedings have to pay 2/3’s of the lawyer’s costs. Whānau must convince the judge that making them pay 2/3s of the lawyer’s costs would cause serious hardship for them. If whānau are legally aided a costs contribution order will not be made against them.
Sometimes the court wants specialist information or assistance in a case, in those cases a lawyer might be appointed to assist the court, or a report requested from a psychologist, cultural advisor or doctor. If that happens, whānau may have to contribute to the lawyer’s costs or the cost of getting the reports.
For those whānau who are legally aided, they may also have to pay back some or all of the legal aid money that has been paid to their lawyer.