So you've been served with a parenting order.
If you've been served with an interim parenting order then you immediately need to read it, understand it and do what it says.
The Care of Children Act works alongside the Family Violence Act, which means that contact under a parenting order may happen despite an existing protection order.
If you refuse to allow contact that has been ordered by the Court then a warrant to enforce could be issued and the Police or Oranga Tamariki social worker could take the child/ren and hand them over to the other party (not something any parent wants to put their children through!).
You can challenge a parenting order under certain situations and conditions. Sometimes you can also sort things out through mediation.
Defending or challenging an interim parenting order - like anything involving the Court - is not as straightforward as it sounds. Getting good legal advice from experts like Portia is a smart thing to do.
We offer three private fee options:
The Solo option - we give you a set number of appointments to get advice, you do everything yourself. Great for DIY enthusiasts but not great if you don't have much patience or attention to detail!
The Solo+US option - same as above but in addition we prepare any documents (such as a notice of response) for you. For these two options we do not appear on the 'court record'.
The Classic option - we meet with you, provide advice, take your instructions, draft and file documents and appear in Court with you.
We also offer legal aid or the Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS):
Legal aid is where the government will pay for your legal fees. If you are on a low wage, a benefit, or if your pay has been cut due to the lockdown then you might be eligible. Sometimes you have to pay this back, but you can negotiate a reasonable weekly payment with Ministry of Justice and the cost to you is a lot less than what you pay privately.
FLAS is similar to legal aid but the eligibility criteria are slightly different. The good news is that you don't have to repay it, and it also covers you for Family Dispute Mediation (FDR). FDR is a formal mediation process that most people must go through first - before any court documents can be filed. A lot of stuff is settled at FDR and we have a great partnership with FairWay Resolution. We'll help you get on the FDR pathway, set you up with Barnardos or a similar provider to do a Parenting Through Separation Course and provide up to two sessions with a lawyer to brief you on the process and your legal rights.
Whether you are paying privately or through legal aid or FLAS, the service you receive will be top-class.