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QLD Ex Leaving Country Temporarily - Does He Need to Sign Parenting Plan?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Tamsin, 16 January 2016.

  1. Tamsin

    Tamsin Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My ex and I have family court orders regarding time spent with our two children. They live with me and spend alternate weekends with him as well as sharing special days like birthdays. He has just informed me that on Monday he is leaving the country for 'maybe 3 months or so' and that he will be leaving the custody of children with me full time.

    I've checked our family court orders and it says that the orders must be adhered to, unless a new order is made by the court, or a parenting plan is agreed on by both parties.

    Our split was very acrimonious and there has been a lot of bad blood since I left. He took the children and withheld them from me two years ago and they had to be removed from him by the family court, who then reduced our 50/50 split to the one we currently have. Since then, I have always ensured that schools/daycare/sports clubs all have up to date copies of our orders and follow them to the letter. I know they are legally obliged to follow the orders too.

    But now he is leaving, and those parts of the orders won't be relevant. Obviously, we can't get a mediation appointment before he leaves to make an official parenting plan and so I drew one up with just the most pertinent points about the children being with me full time, when he can call/Skype them, and that this plan would cease when he returns to the country. He's refused to sign it, not because he disagrees, as he is fine with the contact proposals, etc. He's refusing because he says there is no need to and our family court orders cover us as they are.

    He tells me I'm overreacting and I should just chill out about it, rather than trying to micromanage everything. I'm of the opinion that once he doesn't take the children as he is supposed to in the orders, we will have breached them without having taken steps to cover ourselves legally. I'm also concerned about what would happen if one of the children became ill at school on his usual Friday, when they are supposed to be with him, then as the school has to follow the orders it would cause all sorts of problems. He copied our ICL in on his email and she hasn't raised anything which makes me wonder if I am overreacting, although she isn't exactly the most involved ICL in all honesty.

    Does anyone have any more solid Family Law knowledge about this? Should I push for him to sign this agreement and under what grounds? Will I be leaving myself open to trouble if I just ignore the orders and keep the kids with me without a signed agreement? I can't get any advice until Monday, which will be too late! If he doesn't sign what should I do?

    Thanks
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, overreacting.

    Look, if he chooses not to follow the orders, then that ain't your problem. You could take him to court for contravening, but what would be achieved.?

    Let him have his holiday. Technically, when he comes back, I suppose you could refuse to let him see the kids until he takes you back to court but that would not be very nice. So when he gets home from his holiday resume the orders as per usual.

    Print off the email he sent and show it to the school if the kids get sick on Friday. Easy.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Parenting orders do not place on obligation on him, as the non-residential parent, to spend time with the children at the times specified. It was clarified by the court that orders do not force a person to be a parent, but they ensure there is opportunity to do so.

    I think you're complicating this matter more than is needed. Simply put his trip abroad into the 'as agreed' category and then revert to the order again when he returns. That's how you do your part to avoid perpetuation of the acrimony.
     
  4. Tamsin

    Tamsin Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks for the help guys.

    If I leave him to go without signing an agreement that the kids are with me, how will this go with Child Support? He is refusing to agree to notify them about the changes in times the children are with us, and last time I had to give them court orders to have them amend it. They said they would not accept anything other than a court order/parenting plan to change an existing court order.

    I'm going to be left paying child support to him while he is away and doesn't have the kids at all (it's only a small amount but it shouldn't be anything at all.)

    If he won't speak to child support about the changes, how can I get around it without a parenting plan?
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Once he goes abroad, call and tell them care arrangements have changed. If they can't get in contact with him to agree or dispute the claim, they're likely to accept other forms of evidence to show the children are in your care 100% of the time, if not just your word.
     

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