Family counselling services fear they will be put out of business by the government's proposed changes to the Family Court system.
Justice Minister Judith Collins unveiled the changes on Thursday, and the centrepiece is a new Family Dispute Resolution Service.
It will be mandatory for most applicants to give it a try - at a cost of $897 for a hearing - and they can go to court if it doesn't work.
The existing six hours of free counselling will be cut to one hour.
Wellington Family Court Counsellors, an umbrella organisation, says there's going to be a big drop in the work that's available.
"It won't be good for business at all, we will lose clients and some counsellors will go out of business," spokeswoman Hillary Smith said on Radio New Zealand on Friday.
Relationships Aotearoa chief executive Fran Hoover, who met Ms Collins on Thursday to discuss the changes, says she told the minister counselling was highly effective and shouldn't be scaled down.
"There is, potentially, a significant risk for families... we don't understand what can be achieved in one session," she said.
Opposition parties say the cost of accessing the new service is too high and will be beyond the means of many families.
Ms Collins says it will be much cheaper than hiring lawyers for Family Court hearings and will deliver quicker resolutions.
She told reporters on Thursday a woman had written to her outlining a child custody case that had so far cost about $200,000 and was still unresolved.
"There have been 10 court hearing, three judges, six lawyers, one child psychologist who has presented three reports, nine professional access supervisors, four court-appointed counsellors and 24 separate applications filed in this one case," she said.