Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Law and procedures concerning the formation and breakdown of family relationships, and the relationship between family and state. Legal recognition of theories of human relationships.

    The application of law, policy and research to the formation and breakdown of adult relationships, post-separation parenting arrangements, and the relationship between family, whānau and the state. Legal recognition of theoretical understandings of human relationships, international law and professional practice in the family justice field.

    Family law is a central part of the general practice of law. All lawyers should have a general knowledge of family law, both for their professional and personal life. There is also a growing number of lawyers who become specialists in family law.

    About this paper

    Paper title Family Law
    Subject Law
    EFTS 0.1
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $730.20
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    96 LAWS points
    Pre or Corequisite
    Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed
    LAWS 311, LAWS 511
    Limited to
    LLB, LLB(Hons), MBHL
    Not all optional papers will be available in any given year.

    Optional paper for LLB / LLB (Hons) and MBHL students.


    Professor Nicola Taylor

    Teaching staff

    Professor Nicola Taylor

    Paper Structure

    Topics addressed include the NZ family justice system, roles of key professionals, international law, formation and dissolution of adult relationships, becoming a parent/guardian (paternity, adoption, AHR procedures, surrogacy), financial issues (child support, relationship property division, provision after death), family violence, child protection and out-of-home care, children’s post-separation care and contact arrangements, relocation and international child abduction.


    Course readings are available via eReserve.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper should:

    • Develop understanding of how best to resolve complex multi-issue child and family law disputes on behalf of clients in a confident and effective manner
    • Be able to critically analyse issues of principle and policy raised by the family justice system and its operation in practice


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
    Back to top