Case studies

The following case studies are based on actual mediation provided by FDR.

Mediation Magic

In this case study, we reflect on mediation during the unprecedented world of COVID-19 and lockdown care arrangements. We explain how all parties, including the children, need to be consulted.

Agree to disagree

We all make decisions in different ways. In this case study, one parent believed it was important to make their own decision, but the other parent believed the wider family’s wishes, especially the elders, should be respected.

Below the surface

Sometimes it is easy to reach agreement on the surface, but harder to voice the underlying issues. In this case study, a Fair Way mediator assists an Asian family to explore below the surface.

Voice of the child in mediation

In this case study, a teenage daughter had strong opinions about her desired living arrangements. Fair Way’s Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Provider and a voice of child representative (accredited Lawyer for Child) ensured the teenager’s voice was heard in the mediation process.


In this case study, an experienced mediator used a hui-a-whānau approach for parents of a young child who were referred to Family Dispute Resolution by Oranga Tamariki.

Empowering families from the ground up

Mediator Amy Oberkircher discusses how FDR gives people a chance to take control of their own lives, their own decision making and to converse with the other parent about how their newly shaped family is going to move forward.  

Taking a flexible approach to resolve the most challenging cases

Family Dispute Resolution adjusts the mediation process to suit the family. Find out some of the different approaches Mediator Ngarongo Ormsby has taken.

Helping Families move forward

Mediator Isabel Aldiss shares her experience of helping to ‘future proof’ families. Our mediators help families to communicate in very real terms, and really think through their arrangement and what this might be like for their child.

FDR helps families find their own solution

Families come in different shapes including multi-generational families.  The common factor is getting the right outcome for the family with the least stress.  

FDR - not only for parents

Not all Family Dispute Resolution mediations involve two parents. In this case study, the mother and grandmother of a child decided to use Family Dispute Resolution.

FDR offers alternative to court

In some cases a small amount of support, and the knowledge that support is available if needed, means families resolve their own issues.  

FDR offers responsive family-centred approach

When a distressed father approached the Fair Way office to ask about FDR he was able to be seen immediately by a mediator on duty.  

Understanding the parties interests

A recent case involved some parents who had a dispute about whether to send a child to the local state school or to a church-based school. It seemed on the face of it, unlikely that this matter could be resolved at mediation.