You cannot force her to go to counselling unfortunately. The first step when parenting arrangements come up is what is in the best interests of the children, so if she were to do something like leave with the children he can still contest this if that is not in the best inetrests of the children. It is more common to seek joint parenting agreements in this situation and therefore the children would be shared between the parents. If his wife does take steps to leave then the first step if they cannot agree is to have family mediation through Fairway Resolution.
The Family Justice system is designed to help people resolve their care of children issues without the time, expense and stress of going to court. This in turn frees up the courts to focus on cases that most need judicial expertise, especially those involving domestic violence.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a critical part of the government’s family justice system, and is designed to help families reach agreement on parenting arrangements after separation.
Whilst most people reach agreement on parenting arrangements privately, some people need extra help.
The first step is to complete the Parenting Through Separation (PTS) course which is a free information programme run by experienced professionals. You can find a list of providers by visiting the Ministry of Justice website.
If you can’t agree arrangements following the PTS course, your next step is to use the Family Dispute Resolution Service.
FDR is a nationwide meditation service that helps people discuss their parenting arrangements. An FDR Provider (mediator) will work with all parties so that a practical agreement can be reached that supports the best interests of the child.
Anyone involved in a dispute about the care of children can go to FDR. Most of the time, this is parents who cannot reach agreement but it may involve extended family, whanau or other people.
Sorting out your own arrangements is better for you and your children. You have more control over the outcome than you would by going to court.