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QLD Custody of Children - Refusal Due to Child Support Payments being Cut

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by nicko, 7 April 2015.

  1. nicko

    nicko Member

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    Hi there,
    I've had 50% shared custody of my 2yr old with his mother for the last 2 months and before that had him for 2 nights 3 days a week( now its 3 nights 4 days a week) ( custody of children). I updated this with CSA ( Child Support Agency) and she confirmed the arrangement when they called her and since then her child support amount and her govt payments have been cut.

    She has now (unsuccessfully) attempted to blackmail me in to lying to CSA or she'll cut my custody of him. Its been a very rough 2.5 yrs dealing with her and in this time I've attempted mediation twice ( once through relationships aust and once through legal aid) and have been issued 2 60i certificates due to her not attending or even acknowledging the invitations. I do not want to drag him (our son) through the family court system if there is any other possibilities as it seems like a proverbial emotion and cash drain with no real winners.

    I'm just curious if I should inform CSA of her blackmail attempts and if she does follow through and not allow me to pick him up or see him whether there's any legal recourse available to me other then taking her to court because she's the one not holding up her end of our agreement. We don't have any court orders it's just been verbal agreements as I haven't been able to get her to sign any parenting plans or come to any mediation.

    Any and all advice is welcomed.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, if there is nothing on paper, either parent is within their right to withhold a child from the other parent with no legal recourse until it comes before the court. The court minimises its interruption of family matters by not facilitating any children's rights to know, spend time and be cared for by both parents unless at the request of the parent. However, it is certainly of benefit to you that the mother has confirmed the current arrangement to the Child Support Agency, because it shows the parties did agree to that change in care arrangements.

    The Child Support Agency is relatively unable to act in regards to your ex's threats, nor can they protect the time your child spends with you, so it might be a redundant process. However, if you do pursue court proceedings, you can inform the Child Support Agency of proceedings and they will likely have your payments maintained at the 50/50 rate, rather than 100/0 rate, while proceedings are ongoing.

    As an added note, having a parenting plan on paper works two ways. If the mother does what she says she's going to do with regards to suspending the child's time with you, and then contacts the Child Support Agency and tries to inform them that care arrangements have again changed in an attempt to recover higher payment rates, they will require your confirmation, just as they currently require hers, but she doesn't have anything on paper, either, does she? :)
     
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  3. nicko

    nicko Member

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    No she doesn't and I've informed her that i will not confirm that with CSA until we do have something on paper which sends us down the SSTA tribunal road. I've been able to talk her in to organising mediation but with her past history with this matter I strongly doubt that it will happen. So I'll organise it which she'll no doubt ignore again.

    It seems to me from the advice you've given is that I just need to go to court. Which inevitablly I knew it was coming but hoping it wouldn't. I've done a substantial amount of reading on court orders and it seems they are relatively unenforceable and everytime there's a breach I'll need to go back to court and get a contravention is this correct? And if so where does the line get drawn and something more substantial put in place where I can have shared custody (or even full custody) or simply stop the breaching?

    Thanks again in advance
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    It's important to remember that in family law, there are two sides to every story, and those most willing to share their story are those who have likely been left feeling like they've lost. The court won't waste time and resources on contraventions that are not serious, such as failures to facilitate phone calls or failures to provide school report cards and the like. What they will dedicate time and resources to is a parent who contravenes the orders by withholding a child's time with a parent. The punishment in the first instances is ordinarily minor, such as a bond, and if the contraventions continue, then the court looks are more serious options, such as changes of residency and, as in one case decided by a Queensland judge, jail time.

    The challenge most people have in addressing contraventions is the cost and the time consumption of doing so.

    Another thing to remember about court proceedings is that 95% of cases that commence in court are settled by consent before it reaches final hearing. Even if you are in the mindset of 'No way will she ever settle', you would probably be surprised to learn the influential power that court costs, very firm legal advice, and a low likelihood of success will have on a person. If you've already agreed to 50/50, as well, you definitely have that working to your advantage.
     
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  5. nicko

    nicko Member

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    Thanks a lot its really put my options out on the table and to clarify the confusion of legal avenues. I'd only ever seek a contravention order for witholding of time as that's the biggest concern to me.

    I too have felt that if she was to ever come to the mediation table or recieve any real legal advice it would probably set her straight and that's why she just ignores it so I have to keep playing her games to see our son. I'll give her till the end of tomorrow to organise mediation and then organise it myself if need be. I think I also need to start the legal process as I feel even at mediation she'll either agree and not follow through or just flat out refuse 50/50 because of her payments (and she's made that pretty clear).

    Do you know of any good family law solicitors in brisbane that aren't looking at a dollar value and are more concerned with actual families. I've already had an introductory meeting with Michael Lynch solicitors but can't afford to use them and I feel legal aid just wouldn't have enough umph in there resources to truly support me in this time.

    Thank you so much for replying it's been of great use to me having some third party advice.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    [Moderator Redacted - Community Guidelines] Brisbane, was going to be our solicitor of choice, had we not reached agreement at the last minute. He offers fixed price services, which means the cost doesn't bump for each and every e-mail or phone call.

    Another good firm is [Moderator Redacted - Community Guidelines] Family Law. One of their principals is also a renowned independent children's lawyer, so their experience is strong.

    There is also a not-for-profit firm called [Moderator Redacted - Community Guidelines] Family Lawyers that may be helpful, as profit does not come into the equation.

    Another option for you is to go with a Legal Aid preferred solicitor, as you can apply for legal aid through your firm of choice and Legal Aid will fund you through them. [Moderator Redacted - Community Guidelines] Group is one example, and they're quite good, as well.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  7. nicko

    nicko Member

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    It has been more then helpful and informative thank you SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):)

    I hope that other families in this situation find this thread and it helps them as much as it's helped me.

    Kind regards Nick
     

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