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QLD Chances of Ex Getting 50-50 Custody of Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by devasted, 23 February 2016.

  1. devasted

    devasted Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    My daughter is 4 in 5 months.

    The short story is that my ex wants to get out of paying child support and when I said no, he said he would go for 50/50 custody of children then. Today, we had or follow-up mediation appointment (we previously went in October).

    In our previous mediation, he wanted more time and wanted every Wednesday night with her and every second weekend (which I agreed too). I have never kept her from him. He since has only had her for a few hours Wednesday afternoon and only took her the whole night, twice.

    In our appointment today, we didn't come to an agreement because he doesn't want to drive 15 mins to our daughter's daycare and wants to put her into 2 different daycares or change her to one in-between the two of us. I disagreed because she has been at her daycare for nearly 3 years and loves everyone there.

    He also wants 1 week with him, 1 week with me. I also disagreed with this as I think a child needs a stable home and as I've said, he has open access to her whenever he wants. He has just never asked for it until this money issue came up.

    What I want to know under Family Law is: what are his chances of getting this week on, week off and would they change her daycare even though is he only 15 mins away?

    Also, in our mediation, he yelled at me a number of times, was playing on his phone and the mediator had to ask him to turn it off and also would sit there and stare blankly into space and we would have to wait 5 mins for a response.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. DadonaMission

    DadonaMission Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    From my experience, the amount of child support you don't have to pay by taking on more time with the kids does not cover the extra expense so I doubt this is his only motive, if at all. Most likely he is trying to frustrate you perhaps.

    Under the family law act a judge must consider shared care; whether it's practical and in the best interest of the children. Not too many fathers receive it especially those with a history of proven unreliability. Following this the judge must consider substantial and significant time spent with the father which is a mixture of weekends and weekdays; normally I'd say 4-5 nights per fortnight. This may increase to nearer to shared care or even shared care though as time goes on if it's proven to work and be of benefit to the child.

    Hope this is of some help.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    When you say you have 'never kept her from him', guess what - yes, you have. He wants 50/50, you won't agree. That is stopping him seeing his kid.

    Now if you don't like 50/50, then I have a suggestion: let the kid live with him and see you at the weekends. Chances of getting 50/50 depends on how hard he is willing to fight and how hard you are willing to fight back, but all of the stuff I've read tells me that 50/50 ain't bad and frankly, I think it a darn sight better than 60/40 or any other option. But everything I've also read tells me that when parents stop fighting and start working out how to make it work, the result is a kid who isn't caught up in the middle of crazy adult s**t.

    So I wanted 50/50. I settled for 5 nights a fortnight. I just didn't want to fight and have courts and all that crap, but guess what. After about 6 months, the kids started saying how it wasn't fair. Why can't we spend the same amount of time with dad (me) as mum? The kids started resenting mum. It didn't end well.

    So my thoughts - given he seems a bit inconsistent, agree to 50/50 but make sure it is binding. If he can't maintain that commitment then wait a few months and then you'll have a track history of him not complying. Then the game changes.

    As far as what he did at mediation, well, look. everyone approaches this stuff differently. Maybe his attitude reflects a perception that it was a waste of time. I have to tell you my perception of mediation is very similar.
     
    Lanna86 likes this.
  4. PixiePie

    PixiePie Well-Known Member

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    Devastated, I feel your pain. I was in exactly the same position as you are now with a child the same age, so I can provide you some insight if it goes to Court like mine did.

    The Courts are only focused on what's in the child's best interests. They are neither for the mother or father (or other legal guardian). The Courts do favour shared physical custody, unless there's proof it's an unsafe arrangement for the child. Just remember though that 'shared care' is not necessarily 50/50 physical care. In fact, most Courts don't recommend it, especially for high conflict parents with poor communication.

    I have a shared care arrangement with my ex and that is 10/14 days a fortnight. I was and remain primary carer.

    To answer your question, could he get week on, week off? If you have always been the primary carer, can provide emotionally, physically and financially, have a good routine in place and can prove you are supportive of the child-father relationship, it will be difficult for him to get it.

    The Court also considers the above for the father. Is he employed? What are his work hours? Has he had consistent contact? Distance between homes? Has he repartnered?

    Your daughter is almost school age, so even though her father probably won't get week on-week off, he will most likely be awarded half of the school holidays. It's painful being away from your child that long but you have to think about the positive long-term impact it will have on your daughter.

    The best help I can give you is to document everything in a journal with the date, time, details of phone calls, how your daughter behaves at and after visitation, copies of emails, text messages, etc.

    If mediation doesn't resolve the problem, you will need to refer to your journal for your affidavit in Family Court. Keep personal feelings in a separate journal because it could be subpoenaed at some stage.

    As for childcare, if your daughter has been at the same centre for 3 years, keep her there. She needs the stability. Unfortunately, my court orders aren't working for my ex and he is constantly contravening them (not showing up/communicating), but it's his loss.

    Happy to help with any other questions you have ☺
     
  5. devasted

    devasted Well-Known Member

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    In response to keeping her from him, I do not agree as he could see her every day if he wanted but he doesn't. I think children, especially young children, need a stable place to stay at most nights until they are older and can understand. My daughter screams and fights when he comes to pick her up as she doesn't want to go but I know she needs to build a relationship with him.

    He has never shown great interest in being involved in his daughters life and 15 mins is 'too far' to drive to see her. And both times he has taken me to mediation, it wasn't me taking him. I'm always willing to talk to him and work it out. He doesn't want to talk to me.

    I feel for fathers who want to be involved more and the women keep them away, but in this instance, we have been broken up for 2 years and he hasn't argued about only having her every fortnight because he says he can't find time around work and now that he is in debt, he is trying to get out of child support which has lead to 50/50 so he doesn't have to pay.
     
  6. devasted

    devasted Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply.

    He runs his own lawn and garden maintenance business so he is always busy, which has been his excuse of why he hasn't been around a lot in the last 2 years. He has messaged me twice in those 2 years to see how she is in the 12 days a fortnight he doesn't have her. We only live 15 mins apart and yes, he repartnered right after we broke up.

    Summertime is his busiest time of the year for his business and I work at a school so I have all school holidays off. So would they rather her be in daycare on school holidays, rather than with a parent who is not working in that time?

    I definitely want her to have a good relationship with her dad but I want him to do it for the right reasons, not because he is trying to hurt me. His words to me were "I paid for everything when you were at home with our daughter, so you owe me'.

    Both mediation times, I have tried to work out a plan with him but this time, he wouldn't even listen. He just kept saying I'm here for 50/50 care. The mediator took me aside and said "well it's not hard to see this is all about money for him."

    Do the mediators give a report when this goes to court?

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  7. devasted

    devasted Well-Known Member

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    He doesn't realise the costs of raising a child cause I've never asked him for more then his child support. When I brought the expenses up in mediation he went blank and didn't say much. But yes, he is definitely trying to hurt me.

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  8. PixiePie

    PixiePie Well-Known Member

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    Devastated, now that we have more details about how committed he is to his child, I say he has no chance. My ex was the same.

    He sounds like he's just trying to intimidate you. If he wants to take it to court, let him. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
     
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  9. devasted

    devasted Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Yes, he definitely knows the only way to hurt me is through our daughter and I guess that's ok to him.

    Thanks for the reply
     
  10. PixiePie

    PixiePie Well-Known Member

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    Devastated, all the mediators will do is give you a certificate to say mediation was attempted and either successful or unsuccessful. This certificate is needed to apply to the Family Courts.
     
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