Do I have to mediate if I already have parenting orders?
Mediation is voluntary
Firstly, mediation is voluntary no one “has” to take part in mediation but there are many good reasons to take part in mediation, see our Blog Post “Why Should I Mediate”.
In specific relation to having Court/Consent Orders in place, as a general rule a court will not review an order that is less than two years old, because there is an expectation that parties to the order will make a general effort to comply with a process that has already most likely consumed significant court time.
Exceptions that lead to a review of orders
A change of circumstance: generally this relates to a change in one parents living arrangements eg. One parent has moved location and is no longer able to comply with the orders
A Protection Order is now in place that impacts on the Court/Consent Order
A change in a parent’s capacity to parent eg physical impairment or financial constraint
A change in the needs of a child eg perhaps due to a health diagnosis
What do your orders say?
Some Court/Consent Orders are specific and provide for changing contact arrangements as the children grow older and develop, making a review of the order not always necessary.
Some Court/Consent Orders are less specific and provide more general guidance and do not take into consideration the changes in a child’s needs as they grow and develop. Very often they do not accommodate a parent’s change in capacity to be more or less involved. In these circumstances reviewing your Orders through mediation is a good idea and Experienced Mediators can help you. Regularly reviewing your Orders or agreements is good for your children if you can come up with agreements that support your child’s age and level of development.
If you or someone you know needs help to navigate through family mediation or would like more information please contact Latoya Percival or Anna Oxford via our website www.xpmediators.com
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