FJS Lawyers Adelaide

Have you reached an agreement with your former spouse about the arrangements for the children and want to formalise it? 

We prepare family law CONSENT ORDERS for a fixed, affordable fee – written quotation provided after your FREE no-obligation first interview (30 min) to discuss your requirements.  


How do I get Court Orders to see my kids?

We can assist you in applying for Court Orders to spend time with your children.

The first step in making an application to the court in relation to children is to attempt mediation with the other parent.  Apart from being required for court, mediation is a very useful child-focused process which may assist to resolve issues or at least to narrow down the disputed issues.  If you reach an agreement in mediation, we can assist you to apply for Consent Orders to formalise the agreement with legal, binding and enforceable orders.

There are numerous government funded mediation providers in Adelaide and metropolitan areas:


Family Relationship Centres

Adelaide (

Noarlunga (

Salisbury/Elizabeth (


Relationships Australia (


Centacare (,YouthChildren/FamilyDisputeResolutionServices.aspx)   


Costs will vary between mediation providers.

There is usually a waiting period before you can have your first appointment with the mediator.  The first appointment is known as an “intake interview”.  The mediator will then write to the other parent inviting them to attend mediation.  An intake interview will be arranged for the other parent. If the mediator believes that mediation is appropriate, joint appointments would then be made.  You can choose not to be in the same room with the other parent during mediation – this is known as a “shuttle mediation”.

If the other parent does not reply to letters from the mediator or refuses to participate, you will be issued with a certificate. 


Do Grandparents have rights to see grandchildren?

It can be heartbreaking for grandparents when there is a relationship breakdown and they are subsequently prevented from seeing their grandchildren.  

You should seek legal advice if you are prevented from spending time with your grandchildren, particularly following the parents’ separation, if you previously had a good relationship with your grandchildren and spent a lot of time with them.

The Family Law Act 1975 specifically gives grandparents (or any significant person in the child’s life) the right to make an application to the court in relation to the child.

In making orders, the court considers what is in the best interests of the children.

As with any other application to the court in relation to children, the grandparents will need to attempt mediation first.  If the parent/s of the children do not participate in the mediation, the service provider will issue a certificate to state that mediation has been attempted.


What if my ex has left town with the kids?

You should seek urgent legal advice if the other parent has taken your children from the state, or even from the Adelaide metropolitan area, without your consent.   We can advise you whether you can apply for a recovery order for the children to be returned, so that they can maintain a relationship with you.

You should not delay seeking legal advice, as delay will diminish your legal position.

An urgent application to the Federal Circuit Court for a recovery order does not require you to attempt mediation first.  

If you do not know where the children have been taken, we can ask the court for a location order for Commonwealth departments (i.e. Centrelink, Child Support Agency) so that documents can be served on the other parent.


What if the other parent doesn’t follow the Orders?

Failing to follow Orders made by the court is known as “contravening” the Orders.  If the other parent has contravened the orders without a “reasonable excuse”, there may be serious consequences.  The Court may order participation in particular programs, “make up time” for the children to spend with the “innocent” parent, order the parent who contravened the orders to enter into a bond, pay a fine or even impose a term of imprisonment. 

It is best to obtain legal advice before making a Contravention Application to the court.  If the Orders were made more than 1 year ago, you will need to attempt mediation before applying to the court (unless the matter is urgent – e.g. the children have been relocated without your consent).