NSW Family Court - Contact with Children Over the Top?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by stepmum, 14 May 2019.

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  1. stepmum

    stepmum Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sammy,

    Thank you.

    Wow sounds exactly like what we are dealing with. The messages to us always has some reference to the children. For example: We have started taking the children's phones off them as soon as dinner has begun. (They spend way to much time on the phones hence why.) So we get a message to the effect of children hate you taking their phones off them as they are unable to contact me and are so distraught over it etc etc.
    Our solicitor has advised that we are to respond to all messages pertaining to the children even ones like that. We did respond with Thanks for letting me know. Yes it drove her crazy and we copped abuse and we ignored it. We were advised that we should have been more sensitive to the issue. If we don't communicate in a reasonable manner it will not look good for us. I don't see why though.

    The messages to the children are asking them constantly are you ok?, You sad?, Is your dad being nice to you and is he looking after you properly.

    I dislike it so much as I feel we shouldn't have to respond with an essay. I agree with what you said. Thanks for letting me know and keep me updated should be fine when it is not a life or death situation just rambling because she can.

    Here is one for you. We were advised that if we were to have a technology free weekend we were to tell BM that's what we are doing. Mind you she has stated in her proposed consent orders like us that other parent call Sundays between 4 - 5 pm. We would have been available like we are every Sunday we have them. Isn't that our house our rules? Or am I wrong? Of course if there was an emergency or anything we would let her know.

    Oh yes you should write a book.

    Again thank you. As usual I have taken on board all that you have said. It does help:)
     
  2. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    The OP should read carefully the words of wisdom sammy01 has written as they provide lessons that have obviously been hard-learned and provide excellent advice.

    My 2c worth. Back in the bad days when I was at interim hearing stage I had a similar problem. I was literally receiving significantly more messages from my ex than when I was bloody well married to her.

    Some changes I made were:

    #1. Unless there was something urgent (which there never was) I replied to her messages twice per day - say midday and in the evening. This removed a lot of the weird pleasure my ex was getting by having me forever on immediate standby to respond to her messages. My ex just had to accept that this was the way it was and it did not harm me in Family Court. Remember the ex is trying to control your partner - don't let her do that
    #2. Like sammy01 I removed the emotion from my responses. Most of the BS my ex wrote did not require a detailed response and my response nearly always just resulted in a vicious circle of message, reply, message, rinse repeat. A simple polite thanks, best regards etc is hard to turn into an argument
    #3. I stopped calling my daughters very much when they weren't with me. At first, I felt that the right thing to do was call EVERY evening to let them know I loved them. But tbh we didnt have too much to discuss from one call to the next and I felt it was becoming a bit of a hassle for my eldest daughter to chat EVERY evening. Don't get me wrong I would call them but by reducing the number of calls I improved the quality of the conversations. The number and frequency of calls did not come up in the documents for final trial.
    #4. I didn't get worried if I missed a call from the ex to my girls when they were with me. I returned the call before the girls went to sleep.
    #5. At Family Court a parenting communication app was recommended to us, which we both still use. Its worth the annual subscription as it removes the emotion from the texting (it even analyses the structure of the sentences you use and suggests ways to improve what you write so its less judgemental), parenting messages are consigned to the app so sms messages aren't abused, it lets you know when your message is read, its easy to print off all messages for Family Court if needed etc. It has a whole load of other functionality which we rarely use like expenses, calendar etc. Take a look: OurFamilyWizard | The Best Co-Parenting App

    As sammy01 alluded to, you have to change your thinking on what battle you fight if this goes to final trial. Focus on what's in the best interests of the children. For me my final trial affidavit focussed a lot on the quality of life the children had while in my care So I had receipts for all the activities etc I did with them, rental inspections to show that I provided a proper home environment for the children, personal references from people who knew me and could attest that I was a very level headed, responsible person whose first priority was the best interests of my children etc. Don't let the nutter ex drag you down to her level and then beat you with experience

    I hope that helps and best of luck
     
  3. stepmum

    stepmum Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your advice. It has helped a lot. I had my partner read your reply and a few others I received and he just can't believe how many people are and have gone through. It has helped so much and we have put your advice along with other advice in place.

    Thank you again:)
     
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