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QLD Child Refuses to Take Phone Calls - Breach of Consent Orders?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mumof2, 18 January 2016.

  1. Mumof2

    Mumof2 Active Member

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    I have consent orders that my child is to be made available for phone calls with his father at certain times which I'm happy to comply with. The problem I'm having is actually getting my child to speak to his father and I do encourage him and will also bring it up with my child before he's due to call.

    What can I do under Family Law? My child is 4 and the father is telling me I'm breaching orders even after explaining to the father. I can't force my child to speak to him but I can't keep explaining all the time and I'm concerned he will do me in for breach. What are my best options on handling this matter?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Legally, if the child takes the phone call even for a moment, then you're not in contravention of the orders, but if the phone call isn't even going through, then it may be considered a contravention.

    There will be a page attached to your consent orders that explain your obligations in relation to the orders, and one of those obligations is to actively follow them. The court does not accept the reasoning of 'I can't force my child to do this', especially in cases affecting very young children because, to put it bluntly, you're the parent. You make the decisions, not your four-year-old child.

    By bringing the phone call up with the child before it happens and giving lengthy encouragement instead of just doing it, the child may likely be perceiving the phone call as a choice he can make when it's really not. The other complication is that if there's any anxiety from you about the father, the child will likely be influenced by that and think that if he refuses to speak to his dad, that's what will make you happy.

    My suggestion is to remove the child's choice from the matter and make it into a positive part of the household routine. Without treating the phone calls like a punishment, simply add it in with bathing, brushing teeth and eating dinner. When dad calls, just say "Time to say hello to daddy," give the child the phone, put him in his room and give him some privacy. Doing so removes your influence from the equation and places the responsibility of motivating discussion on the father, and you can avoid more legal issues because you will have accepted the phone call as required.
     
  3. Mumof2

    Mumof2 Active Member

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    Thank you for your response. Any help is appreciated and I will definitely be giving these ideas a go as I really want my child and father to have this time to communicate.

    Cheers
     

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