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QLD Ex Refusing Mediation - Can I Relocate with Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Meg3, 25 February 2016.

  1. Meg3

    Meg3 Well-Known Member

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    I have three children, twins aged 5 and a 2 years old. We have court consent orders in place with shared care arrangements that isn't always adhered to. Nothing major, just my ex is always using me as his baby sitter when he has a new partner at home who is capable as well. It's getting consistent as the new partner obviously doesn't want to look after the children when he has work commitments.

    While I would rather them be with me anyway, I am a currently out of work teacher and on a very tight budget, having to borrow from family to get by weekly. I recently asked my ex to compensate me with extra money and or even vouchers for groceries as all the extra time I am taking the children is not covered by the assessed child support.

    He refused and also said he simply won't be picking up the children for Easter as planned and scheduled as he is going to Thailand to get married. Other than obvious emotional blackmail and harassment I cop from him and his new partner, I need to be working and there has not been suitable jobs locally.

    I also have a newly formed relationship with a man who has relocated to Sydney and we would like very much to explore our relationship on a deeper level and that is at present impossible. He refuses to give permission for me to relocate and has ignored invitations for mediation. He is also a teacher so would be very feasible for him to have extended visits with the children during school holidays.

    I have recently been told I would have no chance at the family court giving me permission to leave with the children going through all the right channels. However, I was advised to simply not limit my options with employment opportunities and apply elsewhere and pack up and go and let my ex initiate court proceedings. Of course, this is not my preferred option, but is seeming like it might be the only way I can defend my reasons for leaving.

    He is impossible to co-parent with and as he left me once for 10 months when the twins were tiny babies and then again while just pregnant with our two-year-old, any visits he has had with the extremely young children and unable to speak or have opinions for themselves, has been secretive and totally against all suggestions of routines I have given.

    Even a communication book in the children's bag back and forth was used to abuse me and worked against me somewhat as he was doing total opposite things as he said. It's all a game to him.

    Please, any help from anyone in this situation or from a lawyer about how the courts would really react if I left without permission would be helpful for me. I don't want it to be this way but it looks as though the power and control he still has over me is being enforced by the law, anyway.


    Also, I obviously know it wouldn't look good for me to do it, but would I have a case to argue? I was left with options and my freedom and right of movement has been controlled by his unwillingness to mediate and negotiate future terms?

    Thank you
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I am a male. Everything you've said about your ex is what my ex would say about me and then some...

    I had court orders for 5 nights a fortnight. I've missed a few visits. But I've also taken the kids at times outside the orders to help out, but my ex would still tell you that I'm an arse.

    So you really have limited options:

    1. Apply to court for orders that allow you to leave. This is expensive. You could self-represent, but I don't fancy your chances.
    2. Leave and see what the ex does. He might throw his arms in the air and say, "too hard", but he might not. This could be even more expensive because if you lose you'll be paying relocation travel expenses twice...
    3. Bluff - Tell him he can have the kids because you're moving and hope he says well, if that is the case, he doesn't want them full time and acquiesces to your request.

    So here is the thing. This is what my ex did. I offered to pay some of her relocation costs but the kids would be staying with me. So my 9,7,5 yr old's live mostly with me. I've agreed for extra time with mum during the holidays and it works better.

    4. Get the new man to move to your location.

    Yep, I wouldn't write in the communication book, I wouldn't respond to her instructions about stuff. In fact, I tried not to talk to her at all. That was simply my way of moving on and not dealing with trivial arguments about how I dressed the kids or whatever.

    Just giving you a different perspective.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, the kids are still spending regular time with dad, is that right?
     
  4. Meg3

    Meg3 Well-Known Member

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    A different perspective is fine but were your children newly born and being breastfed at the time you attempted to communicate and I used the book to do it simply because you are right I wanted as least verbal communication with him as possible.

    It's not about the new partner as much as long as I'm in close vicinity, he will keep manipulating the orders to suit himself and guilting me into it. I also, unfortunately, cannot afford the extra time I have with the growing hungry twin boys when it has not been factored into a child support assessment.

    Every single cent is counted and used and then some. I just want to live comfortably and have as little stress for me and the kids as possible and my situation is not helping the kids.

    Yeah, so the other option I have is to give them up? Not in your life, but I have been told in black and white that he will eventually wear me down to the point where I would have to give them over to him. This is all despite the fact that I am sitting for his frequent romantic weekends away. Good for him/them, I welcome him moving further along without me, but I simply need help financially as well.

    Also, despite that he uses many excuses not to take the now two-year-old. The boys are rostered for 5 nights a fortnight but when he has work commitments which are often extracurricular. He wants me to take them, not just pick them up from school but have an extra night. When I had similar school work commitments, I was simply told no!

    I have tried saying no and I have had calls from school that no one had picked the kids up. It's all just power and control. Basically, your perspective is similar in some ways but I am thinking you sound like a much more dedicated father to begin with and not just when it suits your lifestyle. However, my ex would say the same about himself and does.
     
  5. Meg3

    Meg3 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the boys 5 nights a fortnight but if you read the reply I just posted, it explains that's not always the case. The orders are a piece of rubbish really in this case.
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok - so your best bet really is a court application. Will it work? Who knows?

    Have a read:
    Ahcraft & Haber [2010] FamCA 6 (15 January 2010)

    Now that one should give you some hope.

    Then look at a few more cases found at:
    AustLII Results - relocation

    I've read heaps of them because I was petrified my ex was gonna shoot through. So from my reading, I can tell you that it is bloody hard to pick. Heaps of cases where I thought the dad was safe as houses but the magistrate allowed the move, and some cases that went the other way.

    So to answer your question about were my kids infants?

    Yes, youngest was 6 months old when she kicked me out. She claimed to be breastfeeding the child until he was two in an attempt to justify minimising my time. So trust me, I know all the tricks. And as far as communication goes, she was a nutter (still is). She wanted me to document every item of food and drink I gave the kids. Just madness.

    Now please don't start on child support. I used to pay $500 a fortnight and I had the kids 4 nights a fortnight. The kids now live with me and my ex pays nothing.

    But - I hate this - but when you said it isn't 'about the new partner', well, from what I've read, a new partner who can't move closer to you is a positive reason to promote your cause. Now as far as 'romantic weekends away'. Well, document them all. It shows a lack of interest, it helps your cause.

    As far as wearing you down. Yep, I believe you. That is exactly what I did to my ex. Sounds brutal, doesn't it? But she was trying to wear me down, too. False accusation, letters from solicitors, verbal abuse at changeovers, forgetting to drop off the kids, so I'm left standing around for hours. She did it all. So wear him down. I hate this, I really, really do. Best thing is for parents to work cooperatively. But when it can't happen, it isn't his fault, it isn't your fault, it is both of you who are the problem.

    So ask him his thoughts on him having the kids full time. Call his bluff.

    Yep, you're right. I'm a committed dad. I had to say to my partner that if my ex was successful in moving 7 hours away, the result would be I would be leaving my partner and I'd be going to where the ex moved with the kids. But If you reckon he ain't that keen, then call his bluff. Doesn't mean you have to move, just email him and ask his thoughts on getting consent orders that reflect you moving away and the kids staying. At least, you'll know where you stand.

    Or my preferred option - accept it and deal with it. So you're a teacher - get qualified in math, counselling, science, PE. There are teacher shortages in these areas. Get the new bloke to move in with you. Cheaper and easier than trying to relocate.

    Last thought. I get the power control BS. Trust me. So no legal advice just my observations. YEP all about power. So you have to dis-empower... I refused to write in the communication book because I refuse to have a nutter tell me what to do. And that was the purpose - for her to establish that she is the primary carer and I'm not much more than a baby sitter. I refused to play that game....

    So what you should do is be ambivalent. Don't get caught up in the power game. Its just not worth it. and then you'll start winning.
     
  7. PixiePie

    PixiePie Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what's in the Consent Orders and whether it would affect the relationship between the children and their father.

    He may not see the kids regularly but they're still his children and you would be contravening the Consent Orders if you restrict his visitation. Whether he turns up regularly or not, it makes no difference, as the orders are still there.

    Sometimes contraventions are justified and moving for legitimate reasons is usually allowed, but like I said, if it restricts the father's time and you haven't attempted to offer an alternative arrangement for visitation, you might ruffle his feathers enough for him to take legal action.

    Also, just a bit of info about child support. If he misses more than a certain number of scheduled visits in a row over a 3 month period or so, you can report it to CSA and they may increase the amount payable to you for that period.

    Also, charities are more than willing to help families with children. They can help you with discrete gift cards for food, clothes and help you with your bills. It takes courage to reach out sometimes, and if you've always been self-sufficient it can be even more so, but it will help you get back on track :)

    Be careful how much information you disclose to your ex about your finances too, especially in writing because he can use it against you. He doesn't sound too pleasant after all.

    Get some professional legal advice. Moving for work is usually a justified breach of Court Orders.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Meg3

    Meg3 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    It's taken a lot but I have needed to reach out to charities in some cases. My rent is always late and while I could look at moving to a new cheaper residence, I wouldn't secure a lease without work so my rent has to be a priority of course.

    I've tried to talk to him about working out a fair visitation schedule if He gives outright permission to move away and like I said as he is also a teacher he would have very decent and quality time to spend with them on holidays. I would also welcome weekend visits if he chose to at any time.

    I would initiate Skype/phone communication regularly. But he doesn't want to hear it. He has stated many times I will never love more than 20km away from him for the rest of my life.

    He has ignored attempts and invitations to mediate.

    So what I really need to know I guess is what are legitimate reasons to move?

    It seems like the orders are not worth the paper they are written on accept for if I do the wrong thing. It also seems to me that it's very one-sided. If I contravene, it is frowned upon but with his inconsistency and selfishness, is there a way for him to exploit it because he has a back up with the orders?

    I've completely lost faith in the law I think.
     
  9. PixiePie

    PixiePie Well-Known Member

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    I understand. I have orders, too, and my ex makes a joke of them. Are your Consent Orders enforced?

    Moving for work is usually justified, as it is to provide security for your children. The Courts wouldn't frown on you for that alone. Would you have proper childcare for them?

    How often is your ex meant to be spending time with the kids?
     
  10. Meg3

    Meg3 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't lived near family since having any of the children so I have had to find appropriate child care and that would be a priority.

    He (on paper) spends 5 nights a fortnight with the twins (5) and one night a fortnight with our two year old.

    Every time I have said no to changes in requests, it is ignored and I'm told someone has to care for them. Simply to find out the apparent work commitment was a weekend away or another event that, ultimately, our younger children would be a bother, compared to his new partner's older children.

    I am also continually changing weekends to suit events and so they can have all the kids together at once and then a week off alone together. None of the changes bother me particularly at the moment, since I have no live-in partner myself and since I am not working but I am never able to make plans myself and get that life that I am helping him set up for himself.

    My problem is, I have sought legal aid and they have said the court would laugh at me for attempting to ask permission to leave with a job to go to. However, to secure a job and then ask for permission means the timing of the whole process will see me again having to decline any reasonable offer for work.

    I believe this is why it has been suggested to me not to limit myself and just do it. Although I'm afraid there are way too many uncertainties for me to go ahead with that type of plan, I have been extremely careful always to take the fair and legal road with everything, finances, visits etc., but it seems it will never work that way for me in return by simply doing the right thing.

    The visits would not be as frequent, yes, that is true. If I moved a good distance but the length of visits would increase dramatically to long stays at a time when he would also not be working.
     

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