Consent Orders, Child Support and Parental Responsibilities

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10 July 2014
Hi there,
Our consent orders state that we are to have Shared care and responsibilities.
However my ex husband stopped having shared care of our two children over 3 years ago, barely sees them and refuses to pay child support. The children are 12 and 14 and want to be part of an upcoming reality TV series that I am involved in. It's a wild life reality doco that they will only briefly appear in and will not effect their schooling or social life whatsoever as it's filmed around our normal activities. The ex is refusing to give his permission for the girls to be part with any discussion, reasons etc.

To our knowledge, we don't need his permission, but his lawyer is stipulating his "parental responsibilities" as his excuse. Yet it also clearly says in our consent orders that we need to both make a genuine effort to come to a joint decision. Can he really just deny them their wish without any effort to understand or discuss this project?

I would SO appreciate any advice!!!


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
This is not legal advice, and I would highly recommend you speak to a solicitor before going any further.

Shared parental responsibility affects major long-term decisions about the children's care, welfare and development. It is important you understand that not seeing the children and not paying child support does not exclude the father from having shared parental responsibility and while ever the current orders are in place, you must include him in those decisions.

My immediate feeling is that this reality show thing doesn't constitute a major long-term decision, especially if it does not intervene with times that he would ordinarily be able to spend with the kids as per orders (even if he opts not to), but the public exposure to the kids may be why he has engaged his solicitor.

However, it is worthwhile having some perspective. Invite him to mediation to show you have made an effort to reach an outcome, but at the end of the day, he will probably encounter some difficulty succeeding with a contravention of orders if he takes it to court. At worst, you might get a slap on the wrist, but I can't see a court doing anything drastic with orders where the father hasn't seen the kids in a long time or paid child support.

Speak to a solicitor, though, just to be sure.
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Well-Known Member
19 April 2014
Hi @lindtbunny,
In addition to @AllForHer's post above, if its something that's allowed under the consent orders, then its allowed. You mentioned that the consent orders state that you both need to make a genuine effort to come to a joint decision - it sounds like you are, but he's not necessarily making that genuine effort. You might like to have a look at the Family Law Courts "Complying with orders about children" page for some helpful information.