NSW Access to Children After Divorce - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Joe Black, 9 January 2019.

  1. Joe Black

    Joe Black Member

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    Deep breath, tissues at hand.

    My ex-partner made some very wild and serious allegations about me when I asked her for a divorce.
    Long story short, she accused me of sexual intercourse with out consent. It went to trial but then the DPP pulled the plug. (lack of corroborating evidence/no medical evidence). However, she did get an AVO against me, that I agreed to.

    Since then she has not allowed me to see the children at all. I have two (5 and 8). She has not permitted any form of contact with them, moved them from school with out any warning or discussion with anyone. There has been no question of any risk to the children from me. There has been no domestic violence and the kids have not been exposed to any DV. In fact, the issue of DV only happened once I asked for a divorce after 14 years of marriage.

    We have attended mediation twice with zero and I mean zero movements from her.

    I have now initiated court proceeding and in the meantime, I have text her once a week with my availability for access and have always said the time and place of hand over is up to her. I have even offered her a car for transport.
    She will not communicate with me and her legal aid lawyer is not willing to negotiate. She has basically said, "see you in court".

    I have asked for graded access to the children starting with just a couple of hours a week, then moving to an after-school visit and some of the weekend (just a few hours until they have readjusted). I have asked for 50:50 in the future. The interim order is the graded access and the final order is the 50:50.

    Pre-separation I was very hands-on with them and we spent most of our time together (more than 50% due to the mother working).

    My affidavit has been non-negative towards her.

    I have suggested that we both attend parenting classes to deal with conflict - she has not replied.
    I am now considering amending my application so the final order is for sole custody as she is not willing to co-parent but I believe the kids should have a relationship with both parents.
    What are the realistic outcomes from the initial hearing ??
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    don't do it.
    You're not gonna get sole parental responsibility at this point in time. Aim for graded 50/50 over a year or two and be satisfied if you get 5 a fortnight and half holidays. Be patient. Be reasonable. So let's use my magic ball.
    You get 5 a fortnight and half holidays. The end. Nice. I like happy endings...
    But - if she doesn't comply / then you'll be back in court. That is when going for sole parental responsibility and a change in residence for the kids is worth looking at.
    Right now, you need to be reasonable. That is the best to get a good result. so don't over reach.
     
  3. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    +1 does not sound like a good idea to change your approach.

    What you have asked for seems reasonable. Given that the children are a bit older there shouldn't be an issue with what you have asked for either.
    Without any genuine safety concerns or threat of her running away/leaving the country the courts won't turn the kids over to you so you're just wasting your breath and making you look like the bad guy trying to take the kids off mum.
    This will cause her/her lawyer to fight back and make things more difficult for you.

    As Sammy suggested get your interim orders for time with the kids and if she doesn't comply document each time and if she continues to be unreasonable the courts should help you out.

    I have heard Legal Aid will also pull funding for her if she drags her heels and is completely unreasonable. They don't want to go all the way to trial for no reason as it's too expensive.

    Parenting courses:
    Parenting Orders Program offered by Uniting Care or Relationships Australia(wait time too long) is about how to communicate with the other party once broken up and sounds like it would be good for her/you.

    Also... I'm sure you're aware. Don't do anything stupid. You said she changed their school and stuff like that. Don't go find them and take them etc. This would look bad on you.
     
  4. Joe Black

    Joe Black Member

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    Thanks everyone, its always good to have some objective advice.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    so right now legal aid is funding her. Lucky her... BUT... they won't fund a case once it becomes apparant that mum has no good reason for her antics. You've just gotta be very patient and smart. If you're reasonable and she isn't then legal aid will pull the funding. Then things get interesting for you because she either funds a solicitor or self represents.

    The kids are 5 and 8... You have years to make up the lost time. So being smart now and getting good access is the priority. IF mum continues to be a twit, then you'll be seeking further court time for the contraventions, at that point you can seek ammendments based on the fact that she is a twit.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member
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    Unlike the above suggestions, I suggest you amend orders and request sole parental responsibility on the basis she will not co-parent.

    You may not receive the order, but no harm in trying.
     
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