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NSW Consent Orders - Chances of Relocation with Daughter?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Susan88, 23 June 2016.

  1. Susan88

    Susan88 Active Member

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    My ex & I have a 5-year-old daughter. We separated when she was 12 months old, and for 4 and a half years, he had very little to do with her. After getting into a relationship with a woman that has two kids, he wanted a week on, week off.

    I went to a solicitor. We had mediation and came to 4 nights per fortnight to be done up in the form of consent orders. During this time, I brought up the subject of relocation interstate as my entire family (which is not very big) is moving and I will have no family here whatsoever. When spoken about it when our daughter was about 2ish, he was ok with it but is now saying no.

    As there was no timeline in the move, it was noted to be discussed at a later date. Since mediation, my family has sold up and is leaving at the end of the month. My ex has signed the consent orders but I have not and it has not been lodged to the court.

    Another reason I have not signed is, I felt pressured by my solicitor to go for 4 nights when I only offered 2 to begin with, which is already way more than any contact he'd ever regularly had before. Anyway, just wanting to know what my chances of relocation are?

    I know these cases are tricky but given that I will have no one here, and it has taken so long for him to want to be more involved in her life, will my chances be better?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, you are right about one thing - it's tricky. It's also very hard to predict.

    On the one hand, a child of that age is going to struggle with enjoying her right to have a meaningful relationship with dad if she's living far away.

    On the other hand, the father allegedly hasn't had a great deal of involvement. The circumstances around that are dependent on many things - how involved was he for those four and a half years? What was the longest he ever went without seeing the child? Why was his involvement not greater? Did you have any hand in restricting contact?
     
  3. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    How far away is the proposed relocation from your current residence? Could it still allow reasonable time or communication between father and child? What would your proposal be for the child to maintain (or develop and maintain?) a meaningful relationship with the father?

    While an applicant to relocation does not need to show 'compelling' reasons, the Court will still look at all of the circumstances when deciding whether to permit the child's relocation. The relocation order will pertain to the child's movement, not to your own.

    The long absence of the father from the child's life as well as the fact that you would be relocating for family support would be taken into account.

    In the absence of Court Orders, both parents share parental responsibility.

    You may like to have a search on Austlii under 'relocation' to get a better idea of how the Court determines relocation cases.
     
  4. Susan88

    Susan88 Active Member

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    Until mid-last year, he would just call or text if he wanted to see her, which sometimes could be weeks apart. Extremely sporadic, no regular contact.

    When we first split, I tried to convince him to have her every second weekend & his reply was, "I work some weekends, I need to have a life, too." Of course, he won't admit to that now. I have only ever encouraged him to spend time with her but now he decides to step up to impress the gf.

    Mid-last year, he started having her 2 hours Monday afternoons when it suited. My daughter hates going out there. Some of the things she tells me, they say to her are extremely inappropriate, attempts to brainwash her. Child support has never been paid correctly & the reason he wanted 50/50 care was "we're even then no child support".

    I want to move from NSW to QLD. My daughter & I have always been extremely close to my family & I fear how we will cope without them. Before he found out, I had gone to a solicitor back when we had mediation. There was little to no contact, since then he is always texting trying to cause trouble but mostly, he will call, so there is no proof of what was said.
     
  5. Susan88

    Susan88 Active Member

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    To facilitate time with him, I have said that she can come down during school holiday time as well as skype/video calling.
     
  6. Susan88

    Susan88 Active Member

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    Was wondering if you could shed some light on recent events for me?

    My ex said to me about a week ago that my daughter could now only go for one week of the school holidays with my mum to QLD after having agreed during mediation with my solicitor & mediator present that she could go for two. He is saying he didn't. I spoke with the solicitor today. She said that he, in fact, did.

    He texted me this morning asking if she was going to him for the first week of the holidays and I said that she was going with my mum. He started carrying on that I am breaking the orders (we had consent orders done up which he has signed but I have not, therefore, they are not in effect but he does not know this).

    This is why I consulted the solicitor today as to whether or not he did agree. He has been calling & texting me constantly today to which I have not replied. I am not calling him as he becomes very abusive towards me when no one else is there to hear. He has since got his girlfriend to start messaging me, which I am extremely annoyed about; this does not concern her.

    Sorry, I just don't know what to do & am at my wit's end with his constant carry on & trying to cause problems, which has only began since he found out at the beginning of the year that I had met with a solicitor. It then stopped after mediation & has started again now I've brought relocation up again.

    Before all this, there was little to no communication from him.
     
  7. fbueller

    fbueller Well-Known Member

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    Are you still speaking with your solicitor?

    It sounds like a difficult situation.
     
  8. Susan88

    Susan88 Active Member

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    I have left my solicitor to seek new council & my ex contacted used solicitor I used for mediation & she told him that I had not signed the papers & was seeking legal aid elsewhere. Can she do that?
     
  9. fbueller

    fbueller Well-Known Member

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    @Susan88 I was a bit confused by your last message.
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So just checking - he signed consent orders. He is working under the presumption that you have signed the consent orders (but you're electing not to tell him that crucial piece of information?).

    So legally - What is in the orders isn't binding because you have not signed them - what was said in mediation isn't binding because there is no such thing as a binding verbal contract.

    Does he have a good reason to expect he is seeing his kid? Yep, because he is working under assumption that there is a written agreement and that you have signed it. Why shouldn't he think that?

    Do you have a legal obligation to provide access? Nope...

    Does he have reason to be more than a little grumpy bloody oath? You could at least try and be honest with him. Tell him you have not signed the orders, or better still prioritise your kid's relationship with their dad.

    Why? Well, you have established a dangerous precedent I'm gonna call it the 'Get Stuffed' precedent. So sometime down the track, you're going to want to swap weekends or something similar. His response is going to be 'Get Stuffed'. Why? What goes around comes around.

    Solutions?

    Keep ignoring him: Nope, only gonna make him mad.

    Look for a solution? What about offering him makeup time? You don't have to, but it would be nice. Change your plans so he sees his kid.

    Summarise - He said the kid could go on the holidays. Presumably after that, you agreed to consent orders that provide him with access to the kid for half holidays. If you stipulated in the orders that you wanted an exemption just for these holidays, then you would be entirely justified, but you didn't.

    Now I've been in a similar situation. Consent orders written up, agreements made, thousands of dollars spent. She had free legal aid. Then after all that, she wouldn't sign. Waste of time and money... Now she might have had what she considers to be good reasons for not signing. So might you... But please look at this from the other person's perspective. Might make you understand all the phone calls. And, frankly, since you've got to the point where consent orders are written, if you had a problem, then maybe you should have raised it prior to now...
     

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