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NSW Dispute Over Parenting Plan - Mediation or Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by MummyOf2, 18 September 2015.

  1. MummyOf2

    MummyOf2 Member

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    My ex and I have only had a parenting plan for the past month and we are already fighting over it. My son can't go to the first visitation date because he has been sick but my ex is throwing a hissyfit over it despite my attempts to compromise with a different date.

    Then there is the issue of my ex's wedding. It is not in the parenting plan but I offered to drive my son 3-4 hours up state to attend despite the fact that the father is meant to meet me half way for visitation but he isn't willing to let me get there on my own schedule. I also specifically included my ex's birthday, father's day and a week every holidays that my son goes to stay with him but he flat out refuses to let me have the same courtesy of birthdays, etc.

    It's such a petty bunch of stuff to fight over but he is forcing me to go back and have the parenting plan amended. What are my chances of successfully disputing the agreement through mediation without going to family court, or is my best option to go to family court, change the parenting plan to include clauses that help my son when he is sick and our financial situation with family court orders?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Look, a successful parenting plan is as much about respect as it is about equity, and to me, I'm questioning if either of those elements are present here.

    First, a court would never accept sickness as an excuse for refusing a child's time with his father. He's just as capable as you of taking care of the child when he's unwell, and indeed, I have seen judges berate parents who have tried to argue otherwise. What would you do if the father said, "Sorry, he's sick and he's not coming home until he feels better"?

    Second, surely you can see why he would not be open to you working by your own schedule on his wedding weekend? Like any wedding, there will be a schedule he's trying to work with, and so his son needs to be there so he doesn't miss that schedule. Regardless of your feelings, that is an important event for your son, and it is without a doubt in his best interests to be a part of it, and every part of it, not just as it suits you. Besides, I can understand the father's scepticism - you have already refused the child's time with his dad once, for a reason no court would agree with, and barely even a month after your agreement was made.

    Birthdays and other special events, however, that is something that needs to be addressed, and I would wager mediation would settle those easily enough.

    Avoid court. It will cost upwards of $20,000, can take years for a determination to be made, and it will make an acrimonious relationship even worse. Be fair, be reasonable and it can avoided easily enough.
     
    MummyOf2 likes this.
  3. MummyOf2

    MummyOf2 Member

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    I agree with everything you have to say, I just wish it was as simple as all that.
    Visitation has been assigned to a single shopping centre and my ex has never actually cared for our son in his short 6 years let alone any child, the father was expecting the child to spend the day following him around the shops for 7 hours even though our son has been vomiting and has had diarrhea (I think he had food poisoning).

    I offered to get a DR's certificate because he is a small child and the visitation wasn't in an ideal setting but was refused the offer. I was also more than willing to move the visitation to the following weekend, there didn't need to be such a huge fuss made, I wasn't going to take the visitation away completely. The other half of the information is that my son doesn't actually know his father yet apart from a brief visit once every couple of years, he doesn't even realize that his father is his father and I didn't want to force him to be with a stranger while he is sick.
    The father also has a history of alcohol and drug abuse and has done so in the presence of our child on the brief encounter, if he is in the wrong frame of mind while our son is sick it could be very problematic. He is aggressive and impatient, the only reason I am willing to try trusting him now is because he assures me he has been making changes.

    He never actually invited our son to his wedding, I offered to take a few hours out of my schedule and find the petrol money in the budget to drive our son up to the wedding because I was the one who thought it was important for our son to be involved. The father has no obligation on the day or at all on that weekend other than to wait for me to drop our son of and pick him up after. It was also a last minute offer because I only just found out about the wedding a few weeks ago and the wedding is in a couple of weeks.

    All that aside I had to change a work schedule so I could take our son up for the wedding, so for me to have our son there in time his father has to let me get there when I can instead of 3 and a half hours early which I can't physically do. I feel like he is being unreasonable considering he never invited our son and I made the offer to take him despite my scheduled commitments.


    I already have a lawyer lined up to take this on if it continues to get out of hand, I just don't know what is the best avenue to go down at this stage because it really is such a ridiculous argument. Honestly, I'm drawing an absolute blank right now and can only see the argument itself playing on repeat in my mind.
     
  4. MummyOf2

    MummyOf2 Member

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    I forgot to mention that the only reason that my sons father is expecting me 3 and a half hours early is because he wants me to leave him at a hotel to catch a bus with a bunch of strangers to the venue, he doesn't want me dropping our son of at the property he lives on because I said I want to see the environment he will be placing our son in when he starts holiday stays at christmas.
     

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