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QLD Family Court - Should Children Stay with Me?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by J0hnC0nn0r, 5 August 2016.

  1. J0hnC0nn0r

    J0hnC0nn0r Member

    5 August 2016
    Likes Received:
    I'm looking for some help.

    OP and I have an informal agreement where I have the children 1 day during the week, 1night/day every weekend and 5 nights a fortnight during school holidays. The OP was admitted to the hospital almost a week ago and is not able to care for the children. In their absence, they have appointed their parents to care for the children.

    I have approached the OP about the children staying with me while they are in the hospital and resuming the usual arrangement once they are discharged. The OP has rejected my suggestion, will not give me any indication on how long they will remain in the hospital, and will not discuss the situation any further. Before my time with the children this week, the OP wanted an assurance from me I would return the children to their parents' care after my time with them. Obviously, I was concerned about the OP's parents not delivering the children to me, so I agreed to returning them.

    The OP and I just had an unsuccessful mediation (I'm trying to increase my time with the children) and I believe this has something to do with their current behaviour.

    I'm very concerned for my children and their emotional wellbeing and believe it is in their best interest to stay with me (their other biological parent) until the OP is able to care for them again. My weekend time is approaching and I can only assume the OP is going to want assurances that I return the children to their parents.

    Any suggestions on what I should do this weekend?

    If I don't agree to return them it is likely I will not get to see them this weekend. If I agree to return, but don't, I believe it will look bad for me going to family court (which seems inevitable at this point).
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
    Likes Received:
    So, I assume you don't have any parenting orders in place at the moment?

    This is a fairly delicate situation.

    On one hand, the other parent is treating the kids' relationship with the grandparents as superior and more important than the kids' relationship with you. That's going to look bad for her in Court.

    On the other hand, if you refuse to return the kids, you run the risk of exposing them to conflict. That's going to look bad for you in Court.

    The final word at the moment, though, is that you have shared parental responsibility, so you have a say about their care arrangements. If there's no orders, there's no rules, so if you retained the children, there isn't much anyone can do without an order from the Court, which can take a long time to attain, and who knows? She will probably be out of hospital and have the kids back in her care before a recovery order even makes it to first hearing.

    Where it gets very tricky is when you assess the risk of retaining the kids in this fashion. Are the kids going to see mum while they're with you? What happens if she does the same thing and refuses to give them back at the end of her time with them? What if she then withholds indefinitely citing fear that you won't return them? What if the grandparents try and remove the kids from your care by force?

    If the answers for these questions are generally negative, then it might be better to simply sit tight for now, oblige the mother's request and then file an initiating application with the Court for parenting orders that gives you more substantial time with the kids than what you're getting now. The last thing you want to do at this point is anything that might jeopardise your case for better care arrangement long term.
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