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NSW Family Court Orders - Are Husband's Ex-Wife's Requests Reasonable?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mylife, 16 December 2015.

  1. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Hoping to get some clarity on what is an acceptable request/demand.

    My husband is currently going through the process to get family court orders for time spent with his children. They reside interstate (1.5hr flight) and he is requesting one weekend per month (Friday-Sunday) plus half school holidays. Does this seem reasonable considering the distance? The children have expressed that they enjoy their time here and would like it to continue.

    There have been a few letters back and forth between my husband's solicitor and his ex-wife's solicitor. Basically the mother making demands on flight times, things like that. We have sorted through those things, now she is demanding that they have their own room and beds whilst here. They slept on an air mattress in our formal lounge last time. Obviously, that wasn't ideal, but as it was short notice it was all we could do. She is asking that we provide this for their time here over Christmas, which she hasn't actually agreed to, just set up requests that need to be met.

    Is this acceptable under Family Law? I mean what next, extend our house to provide a room each? We go to family court early next year (interim application). What does the magistrate think of all this back/forth stuff?

    Thank you for any suggestion anyone has.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The back and forth is necessary to try and negotiate consent orders, which is what the court prefers over parents going to trial. If it does go to trial, though, I would argue that none of what is contained is going to matter that much. What will matter is if she withholds the kids over Christmas. It will bruise her case.

    Long-term, I would strongly suggest fixing the sleeping arrangements as soon as possible. It shouldn't be terribly surprising that the sleeping arrangements have come up as an issue because looking at it from the other side of the fence, it's already been identified as an issue from the last time they spent time with you, but your husband still has not taken any steps to fix it, even though he is already seeking orders for them to spend time there on a regular basis. The mother would be arguing the kids' physical needs will not be met at the father's house because they don't have their own room, possessions and 'space'.

    It's not necessary for the kids to have their own separate rooms, many kids share a room and the court is okay with that. It's just less open to the kids being treated like house guests in one home, rather than residents.
     
  3. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I understand and agree with all you have said. Just to clarify, the only reason we have not gone ahead and purchased beds since the last visit is because the mother had pretty much vetoed any further visits. The only reason these negotiations are happening is simply because we have lodged an initiating application. We wanted to make sure we would be able to spend time with them regularly prior to purchasing, beds etc.

    Is the weekend each 3 weeks and half school holidays a reasonable request? The children have enjoyed the time they have spent with us and say they are excited about coming to spend time again.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    How old are the kids?
     
  5. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    They are 12.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    At 12, the flight distance isn't too unmanageable, though the kids would be enjoying their own social lives on the weekends given their age. I think one weekend a month and half of all school holidays is not unreasonable though a court might be more inclined to order two weekends per school term and half school holidays just because of the travel time.

    You haven't said anything about half school holidays, but I assume you're requesting half school holidays as well. It's standard care to have half school holidays plus regular time.
     
  7. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we are asking for half school holidays as well. We would be more than happy having them more often if they wanted, especially as their mum works and they are often home alone.
     
  8. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Of course, and it's always difficult when what we want isn't necessarily the same as what's best for the kids. I would argue that flying too often will cause more harm than good, but they are of an age where the court will take their wishes into consideration. In addition, to set times and days for the kids to spend time with the father, it might also be worthwhile negotiating for the inclusion of a clause that facilitates the added flexibility of the kids spending additional time with their father in accordance with their wishes.
     
  9. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Thank you once again.

    We will discuss that with our solicitor. At the moment, we are just thankful to have any time with them. It's been such a battle for so long with their mum making time with them near impossible!
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Can you provide the kids with their own rooms?

    Look half holidays is generally a given...
     

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