A Family Forum reader wonders how he can attend mediation sessions with his ex-partner while an intervention order is in place.
My partner and I have separated and I haven’t seen my children in months. I understand I need to attend mediation, however there is an Intervention Order in place that prevents me from seeing my ex partner and the children. Can I get this changed or can I still access mediation despite this?
You should seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in Family Law to discuss your options. In some circumstances, you can apply to the Court for an Order to spend time with your children, before attending mediation. Normally parents are required to try to settle their differences concerning the children with the help of a mediator, before resorting to legal action.
Depending on the terms of the Intervention Order you might still be able to mediate with your former partner, without breaching the Order. Contact Relationships Australia SA as they may be able to assist you in arranging mediation, where you will not come into direct contact with your former partner. Where an Intervention Order prevents you from seeing the children, the Family Court can still make Orders for you to see them and you can then arrange through the Magistrate’s Court to have the Intervention Order varied to accommodate the Family Court Order, if appropriate. You do not say why it has been so long since you saw the children, but as a general rule it is best to try to reach agreement about seeing them as soon as possible after your separation. If no agreement can be reached, even with the assistance of a mediator, then you should consider obtaining an Order from the Court. Despite the Intervention Order, therefore, you should urgently seek legal advice and endeavour to make arrangements to see your children through your lawyer, or with the help of a mediator.
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