Home | Browse Topics | Family law | Family violence and elder abuse | Care of children and Protection Orders

Family law

What a Protection Order does

Care of children and Protection Orders

Parenting Orders under the Care of Children Act

If you apply for a Protection Order you can also apply for a Parenting Order under the Care of Children Act 2004 at the same time, to establish new arrangements for day-to-day care and contact. The respondent can also apply for a Parenting Order (see: “Parenting orders”).

Care of Children Act 2004, ss 4, 5, 5A

When a Family Court Judge makes a Parenting Order about arrangements for day-to-day care and contact, a key factor is the need to keep the child safe from all forms of violence, including from family members. If there is, or has ever been, a Protection Order in force against one of the parents, then the judge must specifically take into account:

  • whether the Protection Order is still in force, and
  • the circumstances in which the order was made, and
  • any written reasons given by the judge who made the Protection Order.

If a judge making a Parenting Order is deciding about contact with a particular parent and isn’t satisfied that the child would be safe with that parent, the judge can order that any contact between the child and that parent must be supervised.

Care of Children Act 2004, ss 58–60

Supervised contact means that contact is overseen by an approved organisation, or by a suitable person approved by the Family Court, such as a relative or family friend. It means that contact will happen in a safe, controlled situation. The cost of supervised contact is paid by the government.

Temporary (“interim”) Parenting Orders

Family Violence Act 2018, s 105

If you’ve applied for a Protection Order, the Family Court can make a temporary (“interim”) Parenting Order dealing with day-to-day care or contact arrangements for your child, if this is necessary to protect the child’s welfare and best interests. This can be done even if you haven’t applied for a Parenting Order.

If the court does make a temporary Parenting Order, you’ll need to apply for a full Parenting Order under the Care of Children Act as soon as possible (see: “Parenting orders”).

Can a respondent have contact with the children?

Family Violence Act 2018, ss 90–96

Because of the non-contact conditions in a Protection Order, the respondent usually can’t have any contact with children who usually or regularly live with you, the applicant. This means that if you and the respondent are co-parents, usually you’ll have sole day-to-day care of the children, and the respondent can’t have contact with them for as long as the Protection Order is in force.

However, the respondent can have contact with the children if:

  • you’ve agreed to the respondent living with you and the children, or
  • contact is allowed under a Parenting Order or other court order, or under a written parenting agreement between you and the respondent.

Did this answer your question?

Family violence and elder abuse

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice on how legal aid works, whether you might be eligible for the service, and the next steps.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Age Concern

Age Concern provides a range of resources on aspects of life for older people including elder abuse.

Website: www.ageconcern.org.nz
Email: national.office@ageconcern.org.nz
Phone: 0800 65 2 105

Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) – Office for Seniors

The Elder Abuse Response Service is a free, confidential 24-hour helpline.

Website: www.officeforseniors.govt.nz/our-work/raising-awareness-of-elder-abuse/elder-abuse-response-service
Email: support@elderabuse.nz
Phone: 0800 32 668 65
Text: 5032

Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge provides 24-hour support, advocacy and accommodation for women and their children experiencing family violence throughout New Zealand.

Website: www.womensrefuge.org.nz
Crisis line (24/7): 0800 REFUGE (0800 733 843)
Email: info@refuge.org.nz
Instagram: www.instagram.com/womensrefugenz
Facebook: www.facebook.com/womensrefugenz

Family Violence – It’s Not OK

“It’s not OK” is a community-driven behaviour change campaign to reduce family violence in New Zealand. Its goal is to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The website has resources for families who are experiencing abuse.

Website: www.areyouok.org.nz
Phone: 0800 456 450

Family Court

The Family Court website provides helpful information about family violence and the legal options available to keep families safe.

Website: www.justice.govt.nz/family/family-violence

New Zealand Law Society

The Law Society has helpful information on family violence and protection orders.

Website: www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-public/common-legal-issues/family-violence

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top