NSW Enrolling for school but cant agree on school

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Trying2bfair, 10 August 2018.

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  1. Trying2bfair

    Trying2bfair Well-Known Member

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    Our son starts school next year, he has been on the waitlist of a private school since around 6 months of age. His dad lives in another country and has very little access to him (100% dads choice) in the past 18months he has had barely 40 hours of contact both in person and on Skype, again 100% his dads choice.
    Dad has decided that we need to discuss his school for next year now in August, even though dad has known about my plans to send him to this private school since he was 6 months he now objects.
    His objections are he doesn't want to pay, I've already put in writing that I will pay 100% of the fees myself, i dont care if he doesn't contribute.
    His next objection is he wants him to go to public school as he doesn't agree with private education and he wont get anything extra out of it being private, the thing is this school is structured in a completely nontraditional way and perfect for our son, so I shut him down because this school is providing something the public system cannot to the benefit of our child.
    Now he has come back with objections to the structure, except he hasn't actually researched the schools structure, he has just made giant assumptions and made accusations of how it will affect our child development, which are all just completely ridiculous!
    The bottom line is he is hell bent on not agreeing to this school, but I refuse to send our son anywhere else because this school is absolutely perfect for him.
    Our son has also spent a year attending transition days, making friends and getting to know his teachers! He knows this is his big school, he has been offered a spot, I have sent in all of his forms, it would be against his best interests to change schools now.
    If this goes to court I'm pretty certain I have an excellent case to win and keep this school, but I was curious if I went to court what are the odds of getting sole legal responsibility because honestly it's always a fight when it comes to big decisions with our son.
    Any guidance advice and opinions on this matter are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Well I get that you want what is best for your child but it sounds like Dad does too, he just has a different opinion. I highly doubt you could get sole legal responsibility of your son based on the argument that Dad doesn't always agree with you on big decisions. I am pretty sure sole legal responsibility is only awarded in extreme cases of abuse etc.

    Others may know more but when it is joint responsibility you do have to consult each other and try come to an agreement. Perhaps you could invite him to mediation? Some places do it via telephone
     
  3. Trying2bfair

    Trying2bfair Well-Known Member

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    I'm not negotiating with him any further, he can take me to mediation if he wants to, my opinion on the matter is, he is not paying for it, he isnt doing drop offs or pick ups and the school out performs the school we are zoned for, he originally agreed to the school and he has no viable reasons to not send him, the school is not religious, he is just saying no because he knows I love this school.
    If he was an involved father that knew his child it would be different, he hasn't even spent 2 days in a year and a half interacting with his child, completely at his own choosing.
    It hasn't just been this instance of deliberately being difficult, we just had passports issued first he sent back the wrong forms and then he refused to disclose the location of where he filed his correct part of the application when it went missing because he doesn't want me to know he lives on the opposite side of his country, our flight was in a matter of days and he just kept lying, since i already knew he had moved i was able to get it sorted in time, but he is continually trying to make my life miserable at the expense of our son, it's very frustrating.
    I wouldnt take him to court for sole legal because i agree with you it's not a slam dunk case, but if he drags me to court over this school I was hoping to ask for something that would take away some of his power to cause issues.
    I was hoping that because I have 100% care of our child, that because he actively seeks to be difficult, it might be considered.
    Probably not, by the sounds of it.
     
  4. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    You do realise that mediation is a negotiation?

    If he doesn't have involvement in your son's life, the choice of schooling won't affect him, and there are no orders requiring you to agree on your son's schooling - just enrol him wherever you want. If he fights it, he's only going to make himself look like an idiot. Otherwise, you'll miss out on the school you want and go to the expense of undertaking legal proceedings.

    If you're feeling kind-hearted, ask him to set out his objections in writing (if he hasn't already), and communicate your reasons in response. That way, if it does go to court you can hand up the reasons. Their unreasonableness won't impress a judge (who's probably more than likely to come from a private school background), and won't allow him to come up with more reasons without looking like a fool for not stating them in the first place.
     
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  5. Trying2bfair

    Trying2bfair Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your response

    Yes I understand mediation is a negotiation, what I meant was I'm going to let him make the first legal move if he wants to pursue this further, my previous lawyer advise me not to be the one to start mediation. I guess I really also meant I'm done negotiating with him also Haha

    It's all been done over email, I have all his "reasons" in writing, everytime I would go back and refute his reasons he came up with more reasons and changed his angle, to me it looks like he's just saying whatever he can object, none of it relevant.

    He really is hardly involved but is currently trying to make himself look more involved, and he thinks because he is dad I need to do as he wants otherwise i am belittling and not listening to him, when in fact I'm just doing what i believe is the best for our son.

    I really appreciate your response.
     
  6. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Do you have orders that say joint responsibility for major long term decisions?

    I agree with the above post that you should keep it documented to show that you tried and that you did try and consult with him regarding this major long term decision. If you have made reasonable attempts then the court would see that.
     
  7. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Also you can solely enrol your son without fathers permission/signature. I've done it with my son and he is in private school too. It just means they only chase me for fees.
     
  8. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Sorry should just keep all my thoughts in one post. One more thing......would he really go to the trouble and expense of taking you to court over a school? I looked into contravening my ex and it was a guaranteed minimum of $7,500 and a maximum of $168,000. Yes for a contravention proceeding.

    You could email him and respectfully advise him that despite your best efforts it is clear you two will not agree. Advise him that you will continue with the school of choice and then it is up to him to take you to court. It's a huge expense so would he really bother?
     
  9. Trying2bfair

    Trying2bfair Well-Known Member

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    Thank you again for responding, I really appreciate the thinking outloud!
    I have documentation that he originally agreed with the school, and I have all of this latest ridiculousness on email, I do not speak to him unless in writing because he likes to make up things.
    I have placed only my details on the enrollment because they credit check the parents and then obviously it leaves him liable for fees, which I am very happy to be responsible for.
    As for would he be bothered to drag this to court, I doubt it, he absolutely hates spending money on anything related to his son and custody, but he has a new girlfriend who I actually think is the driving force behind this and who knows what he will do to save face, I'm sure he has told her I keep his son away and dont include him.
    Its 100% not the case.
    Also we have no orders, because he didn't want to agree to anything or spend money, so he just said he will visit when he can obviously he makes a real effort to visit often, I just feel bad for our son, he loves his dad.
     
  10. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    I would just enrol him then. You did try. It's not like you didn't even consult with him about it.

    As far as new partner, thay may just be the case. But personal story - I was the second wife to my ex (he has a daughter from first marriage). When my ex initiated mediation to get more time with daughter, the mother assumed I too was the driving force. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was young and selfishly, didn't want the daughter around anymore than she already was! Ex's daughter has lots of issues and I couldn't deal with her.

    Anyway, just wanted to share as she was dead set convinced it was me who encouraged ex to pursue consent orders etc.

    I find with the messiness of blended/ex families lots of assumptions can be made. Not saying it's not true just giving my experience.
     
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