QLD Ex's Girlfriend Pick Up the Kids - Contravention Order?

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AME

Member
21 May 2019
2
0
1
Hi...

My ex-husband's new girlfriend (of 6 months) has attended handover about 4 occasions with the father of our 2 and 3-year-olds. She has now been advised by my ex-husband to do pick up once a week herself while he is working.

I really don't mind that she picks up, however, the first (and only time atm) it happened the children kicked and screamed and cried and yelled not to go. I had to physically force them in her car. Not something a mother is happy to do and witness. They are obviously not comfortable with her. When the father picks up, the children are fine to go.

I have written to him and asked that he attends temporarily to get them more comfortable and not so stressed out but he says that he will bring a contravention order on me if I don't comply with the Court Orders. The court orders only state "the father is to spend time with the children as follows"...

Then goes on to list visitation times. Do I have to keep forcing the children to go with his girlfriend? Will I be held accountable for a contravention order under family law if I refuse for her to collect them and say that he needs to be present?

Thank you
 

Tremaine

Well-Known Member
5 February 2019
180
31
514
Dad’s time with the kids starts at whatever time is indicated in the orders, and day to day decisions are his responsibility from that time until his time with the kids ends and they go back into your care. Who the kids spend time with during his time is a day to day decision, so not sending them because the girlfriend is doing the pick up would amount to a contravention of parenting orders on your part. You’re also obligated to actively encourage the kids to comply with the orders and you wouldn’t be doing that if you refused to send the kids because the girlfriend is picking them up.

Question, have you asked dad what the kids are like once they’ve been picked up? I have a toddler who occasionally screams blue murder when I’m dropping her off at day care, but is fine as soon as I’m out of sight...
 
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AME

Member
21 May 2019
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1
Thank you. I understand. It's not a matter for me who spends time on his time. I was hoping for help with ease of transition rather than bog standard reply 'deal with it' from father. Good to know that I will be lawfully unable to do anything as I really don't want to jeopardize contravention and tone with the children. Sad to experience for the children not comfortable with her. I would never get a true response from father no matter what questions I ask. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
 

KKaren

Well-Known Member
22 March 2019
23
2
124
The screaming doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t comfortable with her, but that they prefer you. I’m a teacher and we have kids who kick and scream and cry at drop off but are fine as soon as mum is out of sight (and out of mind). Maybe talk to the girlfriend about it, I’m sure it’s distressing for her too. Maybe the girlfriend could bring a treat or a favourite toy to encourage positive handovers?

I’m sorry you, and your children are going through this.
 
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Philly2020

Well-Known Member
27 April 2018
100
4
389
I agree with KKaren. The children's behaviour does not necessarily mean they are not comfortable with the fathers girlfriend. It may be they are not comfortable with the transition. If they are aware of any animosity between you and her it may contribute to this behaviour. This is very common behaviour from kids. Sad to witness, but with encouragement and persistence they will likely transition easier as time goes on.