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VIC Changing Family Court Orders

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Zita, 27 April 2015.

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  1. Zita

    Zita Member

    27 April 2015
    Likes Received:

    Currently the family court orders around the children state that we share 50/50 custody.

    My ex has since advised that he wants to change the orders so that he only sees the girls one weekend every fortnight. He has since filled out some paperwork for the judge to consider when changing the orders. The court date is set on June.

    Current Orders:
    50/50 Custody
    Him - Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night
    Every 2nd Weekend (from 3pm on Saturday to 4pm on Sunday)
    1st week/2nd weeks of the school holidays (pending if an even or odd year)

    Currently he advised that he can no longer look after the children during the week, so he only sees the children every fortnight. We have arranged this to be from 12noon on Saturday until 7pm on Sunday.

    In the paperwork that he sent to me (the proposal to change the orders) he states:
    Him - Every 2nd Weekend (from 3pm on Saturday to 4pm on Sunday)
    1st week/2nd weeks of the school holidays (pending if an even or odd year)
    Monday night after school until 8:30pm (so that they can attend scouts) which I think is not appropriate to be on the permanent orders as scouts may change and my children are only 4yo and 7yo (so drop off at 8:30pm on a school night is quite late for children of their age).

    He still wants 50/50 decisions on the children.

    I am happy to keep the arrangements as they temporarly are ie.he has the children from 12noon on Saturday until 4pm on Sunday (no Mondays).

    He said that he would just negotiate the times, however I would like it written down as he is difficult to negotiate with, has breached the contract in the past and I currently have an intervention order out on him.

    My questions are:
    1. Do I need to prepare a separate proposal to send to the judge?
    2. Do I need to attend court?
    3. Do I need legal representation?
    4. Am I elegible for Legal Aid if I earn $62,000 per year and have two children as dependants?
    5. Where do I get the paperwork from and who can I ask for help to fill it in? Justice of the peace?
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
    Likes Received:
    1. You don't need to develop a separate proposal for the judge if you're in agreement about the arrangements. You only file one agreement signed by both parents. If you file a proposal and he files a different proposal, they become contending applications and require deliberation by trial, rather than in chambers.

    What you can do is transcribe his proposal into a word document, amend the things you don't agree with, then send it back to him for consideration. Ordinarily, the process goes back and forth until you find a middle ground you're both happy with. Once you reach that point, you both sign the draft minutes of consent orders and file together with an application for consent orders.

    2. No, you won't need to attend court unless the judge requests you to, which is unlikely in consent orders applications. The matter is decided in chambers (that is, without the parties present and with no formal proceedings in court) and you will be alerted when the judge approves the orders.

    3. You don't need legal representation for consent orders. Since you have orders already, you can use those as a base for the consent orders you now seek, so no need to spend money on solicitors. You can also file yourself through the family court registry or online.

    4. Legal Aid decisions can be a bit subjective. Financially, you might be eligible, but you would probably fail the circumstances test because you already have orders.

    5. The form for consent orders is available here: Application for Consent Orders (do it yourself kit)

    You can do it yourself but if you want legal guidance, you can book in for a free consultation with Legal Aid. They'll be able to read over everything and make sure it's filled out properly.

    A JP will be unable to help as they cannot give legal advice. They can only check you've filled in all the right boxes.

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