QLD Face time phone calls.

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jake Matherson, 16 April 2019.

  1. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    Child under 3

    The mother has removed herself from the child for the last 2 months after a rough day for her in Family court. Since then there has been no contact at all from her to the child, me or my family. We kept communication channels open, she chose to remove herself.

    Whilst proceedings continue her time with the child is to be at a contact centre as of February 2019 until ordered otherwise. Future court date in July. But as yet I don't believe she has signed up to one and the wait list is +6 months therefore a visit has not yet occured.

    The mother has broken silence and requested we look into scheduling weekly Facetime calls for her and the child.

    In the interests of the child maintaining a relationship with the mother I am open to facilitating a weekly, scheduled Facetimes between XX time and XX time on XX day. With any rescheduling of that call to occur with +24 hours notice. That is to say for example the mother has between 6pm and 7pm each Wednesday to Facetime with the child and she can't just call whenever she wants.
    1. Does anyone have example orders for something like this?
    2. Is one call a week sufficient or should I be facilitating more?
    3. As there are no orders in place for time with the mother or phone calls I should ignore her request and wait until ordered otherwise.
    All thoughts and comments appreciated.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    dont do it... UNLESS the orders have a provision...follow the orders - what do they say?

    Do they say anything about other times 'by agreement' or anything about alternatives to contact centre?
     
  3. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    Hey Sammy,

    Mine is a bit of a weird case.

    I have the provision for by agreement and am looking to do what is best for the child by maintaining their relationship.
    We have an upcoming Family Report (number two dues to extreme circumstances change) and I would like to show my ability to co-parent.
    If i'm honest the last two months without her being around have been great but I don't want it to come back and bite me by her saying I'm withholding.

    Currently there are no Orders for the child to spend time with either parent but it is accepted that the child lives with dad.
    We agreed to a parenting plan (not enforceable) in December 2018 however circumstances have changed significantly since then and the parenting plan is no longer being followed.

    After my orders finish there is a heading "Notation" The Independent Children’s Lawyer and the Father propose and agree the Mother have supervised time with the child at Relationships Australia Contact Centre, with such supervised time to commence upon the required parties, including the, making the necessary arrangements with the Contact Centre and the Centre making a place available. The Mother wishes to seek legal advice in respect of this proposal."

    There are no Orders for the mother to have visits at a contact centre due to the last hearing being a directions hearing only and consent not being reached.

    She then disappeared and has now returned wanting to call the child.

    So in the absence of Orders i'm trying do decide what is the correct approach to allowing her back in if at all until ordered otherwise.
     
  4. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    What is going to happen.

    Family report in may.
    Get report back in June.

    noted in my current orders "It is proposed that the parties submit to the Court on the next occasion(July) interim parenting Draft Minutes of Consent in respect of full interim parenting arrangements for the child pending final hearing"

    Attend mention in July with consent interim orders and chuck us in the trial pool for a trial date July 2020.

    If mum doesn't consent in July she gets stuck with no time and child lives with dad.

    So i'm trying to do the right thing and facilitate the appropriate amount of time so that i can demonstrate my ability to co-parent. The alternative is I cut her out until ordered to facilitate her which I don't think the court will like given the vast times between dates.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    I'd do nothing... The ex can take the initiative and organise supervised visits.... Obviously, there is a back story here that explains why supervision is required. Mate you're not gonna look like you can't co-parent.. she is gonna look like she doesn't give a &$E$&*. If she did she'd be knocking down the door of the nearest contact centre to get to see the kid.
     
  6. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    I don’t agree with the ‘don’t do it’ advice.

    My partner has had parenting orders since his child was three, and they’ve included phone calls. Originally, it was a phone call twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays between 5:30pm and 6:00pm), but as she’s grown older, she’s started to use FaceTime. The only condition we have with FaceTime is that she stays in her room (we don’t feel comfortable having the ex being walked around our house and shown our private lives).

    Scheduled phone calls are initiated by the parent with whom the child is spending time so we can make sure the timing is convenient, and if it’s not convenient or the other parent doesn’t answer, we just try again the next day.

    The orders also facilitate phone calls on the child’s request, but that’s hardly ever.

    They read something like:
    #. That the child communicate with the parent with whom she is not spending time as agreed between the parents, but failing agreement, as follows:
    - By telephone between 5:30pm and 6:00pm each Wednesday and Saturday, with the parent with whom the child is spending time to initiate the phone call;
    - At all other reasonable times as requested by the child.

    There’s a second provision that orders privacy during phone calls and to facilitate the call the following night if the other parent doesn’t answer the phone.
     
  7. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    Sammy's opinion is pretty much identical to the one I have received from a lawyer friend of mine. hahah pretty much used the same words to.

    Thanks for the layout Tremaine and I agree with the privacy house walk about deal.

    I am leaning towards do nothing until the updated Family Report is released, told by the ICL and/or ordered by the Court to do otherwise.

    The mother is dragging her heels in other areas making everyone's life difficult so I have no desire to skip to her beat.
    Behaviours include not undertaking court ordered drug tests, not enrolling in court ordered parenting classes the list goes on ignoring all court orders since July 2018.

    However I also don't wan't to make myself look like I'm being unreasonable denying a phone call and essentially all contact for the next 3 months until our court date. As the child has a right to have a relationship with her.

    Is it in the child's best interests for me to facilitate that phone call is what I'm struggling to decide.
    If I don't, when questioned by the Family Report writer as to why I have not allowed her the phone call I would say because the orders didn't tell me I had to. Seems like it won't come across well.
     
  8. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    From the limited amount I have read, it sounds like the mother is still a bit of a loose cannon...

    An ICL is appointed to represent the kids best interests, independent of parents. A family report is initiated in part to better understand relational dynamics around the kids and those close to the kids... The bottom line is, they are supposed to be the experts. You are not expected to make a decision on this kind of scenario, especially if you are not confident of that decision or the outcome if you were to allow it.. Nobody is going to think less of you for erring on the side of caution IMO
     
    Jake Matherson likes this.
  9. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I agree with not facilitating time outside of what the orders say in circumstances where supervision has been ordered, but phone calls? They’re pretty low risk, and as you’ve said, you don’t want to give mum any ammunition to argue that you don’t support the child’s right to have a relationship with her mum.

    Not all phone calls were a breeze for us, I’ll admit. My partner’s child would sometimes come away from a phone call with her mum in tears because her mum told her how she was going to a petting zoo with their family friends, but the child would have to miss out because she was at dad’s, as one example of many. Eventually, we just started ending phone calls early if the conversation was going into dangerous territory, even stopping them completely for about six months and explaining why to her lawyer.

    So, phone calls are something you can still have some control over. If mum misuses them, or the child isn’t coping, just stop them.
     
  10. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    I think each of you has a little something to offer that will be helpful for me when questioned. So thanks for the input everyone.
     
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