One of the areas we give clients advice on is in relation to Protection Orders. In this blog, I will explain how a client served with an Application for a Protection Order was able to use this as an opportunity to move towards a settlement with respect to parenting matters.
Bob had been served with some documents by the Police and was required to be at Court to answer an application for a Protection Order in connection with his estranged former partner.
He felt he had been unjustly treated by his former partner and by the Police. He accepted our advice that we could not do anything about the past, but today was an opportunity for him. His main concern was that his partner would not allow him to see his little boy, who was the light of his life. We were able to put together a proposal in writing to put to his former partner, who had come to Court at the request of the Police.
When we asked Bob what his former partner might be concerned about, he admitted to stressors in his life which he “medicated” with alcohol and drugs. He was having trouble coping with his separation, particularly because his former partner seemed to sometimes dislike him intensely and at other times loved him and wanted the relationship to continue (this is common in any separation).
We were able to successfully negotiate a Parenting Plan in writing which allowed him to see his little boy every week. At the same time, we were able to address the concerns of his former partner. He was willing to complete an anger management program (even though he did not think he had a problem with anger, he acknowledged that his former partner said he did). He was prepared to do a drug test once a month as requested by his former partner.
When we were called into Court, we were able to tell the Magistrate that he would consent to a Temporary Order that day (it would have been made anyway based on the Application) and we were able to inform the Magistrate about the Parenting Plan and ensure the Order made by the Magistrate took into account the terms of that Parenting Plan.
Part of the Parenting Plan was that Bob and his former partner would go to mediation in three months. That would give time for the dust to settle and for Bob to turn his life around and also to see if the Parenting Plan was working. We had high hopes that Bob would be able to do all that he planned to, and at the end of three months, his partner may not feel that she needed the protection of a Protection Order.
At the end of the day, Bob was very happy because he knew he would be seeing his dear little boy in a few days.