NSW Family Court Orders - Ex Gaining Access to Non-biological Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Enigma, 13 June 2018.

  1. Enigma

    Enigma Member

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    Hi,

    I was wondering if someone could give me some help on this matter, which is very stressing for me at the moment.

    I have two children 7 and 8 whose mother passed away 5 years ago. I lived with my partner for 11 months until a year ago. Prior to the 11 months living together, we dated for a period of 2 years.

    Since my children's mother passed away, I have shared parental responsibilities with the children's grandparents as my family lives in Spain. Children would spend days and overnight with grandmother on a regular and continuing basis, even during the time we lived with my partner.

    The relationship ended a year ago. For the first three months my ex-partner did not have much contact with my children at all.

    In November last year, I agreed to my children spending some overnights at my ex-partner's parents place with my ex being present, which continued through December, started again in February and Ended in April.

    I am now in a relationship where my current partner spends significant time with my children and I spend significant time with hers. My ex-partner did not agree to meet to discuss why I did not want regular overnights and did not return calls to discuss.

    My ex-partner is seeking family court orders to have formal access to my children despite her avoidance to return calls or meet to discuss.

    I feel she is emotionally unstable and I am very hesitant to allow her to see my children. My children do not ask about her and rather look forward to our time together with my new partner and her child.

    What are my ex-partner's prospects in your view of gaining a court order in these circumstances?

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    If you don't want her seeing the kids, and the grandparents don't want her seeing the kids, the likelihood of the Court ordering that she see the kids outside of 'as agreed' is pretty small.

    She'd have to first pass the threshold showing that she's a person interested in the children's care, welfare and development (usually by way of a long-standing relationship, but two years of dating and a year of living together...eh), and then she'd have to show that parenting orders setting time for the kids to spend with her are in the best interests of the kids (which doesn't happen often for former partners, especially if they were never de facto, as would likely be the case here given that you didn't live together for very long).

    Has she actually filed an application for parenting orders?
     
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  3. Enigma

    Enigma Member

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    Thanks for taking your time answering.

    She hasn't filed an application yet I don't think but has threatened me to do so. She refuses meeting in person to discuss and has gone quiet.

    She wants permanent and frequent access and this I am not ready to allow. She won't settle for anything less.

    I am just stressed at her threat to take legal action.

    Many thanks.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Don’t stress about future legal action that may or may not come to fruition. Don’t even think about it until her application is sitting in front of you. Just parent as you see fit until the Court says otherwise.
     
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  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like she has developed a bond with your children which is good when it is a healthy bond.

    She is likely feeling threatened she is going to be cut out of the kids lives and you have more or less confirmed this is likely to happen.

    Tough situation for your ex.

    If she has a been a person of significance in the kids lives she may be granted some time. Ask the kids what they want without showing any bias and go from there.
     
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  6. Enigma

    Enigma Member

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    Hi Rod,

    Following separation, my ex-partner did not have any regular contact with my children for at least three months and there was no effect to my children as I and the kids' grandmother were already doing the vast majority of the parenting when we lived together.

    A separation is always an emotionally tough situation. The question is what's best for my children's welfare. Their welfare is provided by her father and grandparents co-parenting which has been ongoing since their mother died. The parenting provided by my ex partner was minimal and my children have never considered her their parent.

    I have asked my children openly and they are not unhappy about seeing her but they'd rather sleepover at my current partner's and her daughter's place and they are not asking me about my ex-partner.

    I am OK with her seeing my children occasionally, that is not the point. The problem is she has refused attending a meeting to discuss all of this. Instead she has threatened me to seek action. A meeting must be held to discuss and align. I have offered this on a number of occasions and silence has been chosen instead.

    The attitude, lack of open communication makes it very hard and stressing for me and it going to be a wait and see I guess. She has not requested access to my children and has gone quiet.

    Thank you.
     
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