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WA Family Law - Appropriate Footwear for Son?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Patience, 13 January 2018 at 12:15 AM.

  1. Patience

    Patience Active Member

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    Hey guys,

    This is a really silly question so I understand might get a lot of roll eyes here..

    Basically the last 2x visits I've had with my 18-month-old son, I've been accused of not putting appropriate foot wear on him and this has lead to him getting splinters, which a doctor has had to remove. The fact is he is actually always in appropriate foot wear while in my care. My gut feeling is to just to not reply to the text because if I reply along the lines of "whilst in my car, our son is always in appropriate foot wear" this will just unnecessarily aggravate the situation (it doesn't take much with this ex).

    Another point to note is that the accusations come 1 - 2 days after I've had time with him, so I'm almost certain that this wouldn't have happened in my care. Even if it did, I just don't get why such a big deal has to be made of it.

    I know I've maybe answered my own question but just wondering what other people have done in this situation. I imagine the family law consultant and magistrate won't even consider this sort of stuff at the next conference and hearing. I am mindful of the fact that we have to be seen to be communicating in line with equal shared responsibility which is why I'm not 100% sure what to do...
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Family consultant and magistrate wont care about the splinters - they will care about how you deal with it. My kids now live with me (I'm male) and they are with their mum for holidays, so I have way too much time on my hands - hence the essay below. Something to fill in the time....

    So I'm gonna give you three options... Sadly, you don't get to decide which one you take.That has been taken out of your hands...

    Option 1 - This is the option for you because I'm assuming you don't have any court / consent orders? Write back to the ex.

    Dear ex,

    I'll take note of your concerns about shoes... To alleviate your concerns, I would be happy for you to purchase a pair of shoes that you feel are suitable for our child and I'll happily reimburse you once you present me with the receipt for the shoes. Does this seem reasonable to you?

    Please give (insert child's name) a big hug for me.

    Many thanks...

    I like it... You are not acknowledging that you are too stupid to put shoes on a kid, so no admission of guilt (FFS)... You're not accusing her of lying - given it took her 2 days to get splintered infected child to DR and your not ignoring her... See ignoring makes sense...

    However... she wants to be able to establish that you're an idiot who cant look after a child and that there is lots of conflict - petty arguments that is not conducive to effective co-parenting and if you ignore it - you seem like you're not prepared to work with mum in raising the kid. Now she will probably bite back with something about how she is too busy to buy shoes and you need to work out how to buy suitable shoes blah blah... and you get to write back. Dear ex, no worries, I'll sort some nice shoes. I will send you a photo once I've bought them, do you think (insert child's name) would prefer back shoes or blue. I think he looks cute in blue... Give the little tike a kiss from daddy, thanks talk soon...


    My biggest bug bear of this system is that the primary carer wins by causing conflict especially if the other parent buys into it. But my little response makes you appear like you're willing to work with mum to problem solve - it is child focused and the little bit at the end makes it seem like you and the ex get along hunky dory... Remember it is a stupid game...

    Story time - My ex wanted me to weigh food in on 12 mth old... and food out - weigh soiled nappies - food out...and to complete a chart to document food in and food out, madness. I foolishly suggested I'll fill out the stupid charts only if she provided me with her charts - filled in, so I knew she was doing the same.

    She didn't like that - told me in no uncertain terms how she was the primary carer and she needed all 'relevant' information.. blah blah... So I weighed one nappy once and wrote ball park figures on the stupid chart so she thought I was doing as she'd told me... But I was not arguing...

    Mate - I've had years of practice at this and it is kinda fun now... I used to go from stressing out over everything, to just seeing it as a stupid - but kinda funny game... Even now I make a point of being overly nice at change overs... She could be swearing at me - throwing soiled underwear at me (yup true story)

    But I just stand there saying banal and meaningless phrases like "thanks for the information, I'll make sure that is enacted directly" and I'm always overly pleasant. The kids have noticed too. Dad nice guy, says hello good-bye and tells the kids to give mum a hug... Meanwhile she barely acknowledges me unless she wants to complain. Kids have notices that too....

    Option 2 - Write back to ex and attack or ignore it. Write back with a hint of aggression... and she will show the family consultant and make a big deal of how dysfunctional the relationship is and how that is bad for the kid and hence less time for dad with child...

    Or ignore and let her rant about how you guys can't communicate hence dysfunctional blah blah... Clearly this is not a good option.

    OPTION 3 - You will like this one (later) Option 3 is the option you get to use once the dust has settled and the ink has dried on the court orders...

    Dear ex,

    The shoes were fine. Please have a close look at the court orders. You will find that they say nothing about you having any right to complain to me about pointless and trivial matters. I can only assume your purpose here is to cause conflict. I'm not interested. Please give (insert child's name) a big kiss from daddy.

    But you don't get to use that one until after you have final court orders...

    Funnily enough - for the first 6 months, the ex sent the kids in Wellington boots... She even tried to convince me to go into the disabled toilets at Macca's so we could take 'her' clothes off the children and put 'my clothes' on them prior to them departing with me... So at this point I reckon, I can claim my ex is nuttier than your ex...
     
  3. Patience

    Patience Active Member

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    Hey mate,

    Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. I do have interim orders for the visits and there is a mutual undertaking as well that states we can only communicate for the purpose of arranging time to spend with my son. So that kind of puts me in a difficult spot whereas I can't legally reply I wouldn't have thought as it's not for the purpose of arranging time to spend with him. I'll just mention to her at hand over that her concerns have been noted. The silly thing is the first couple of times I spent with him she would actually remove the shoes that I'd put him in for the duration of the time we spend together at handover time.

    You are exactly right, I suspect this is more about her just wanting to use anything to try and cause conflict and paint a picture of 2 x parents who can't effectively communicate as ultimately she 'wins'.. Sounds like your ex and mine have a lot in common, very similar in terms of handover, she'll just blatantly look the other way and pretend to not hear what I'm saying when I'm advising her what our sons had to eat, drink etc . Doesn't acknowledge me at all and body language is very poor which I imagine is why every time without fail our son is very very reluctant to go back to her
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have an AVO against you? If so, then yup don't reply.... But a lose interpretation of "communication for the purpose of arranging time to spend with son' would be including conversations about any 'concerns' either parent might have about the child's welfare.... So my suggested response is still a winner...

    I'd strongly encourage you against mentioning it at hand over... What you and I would call -'mentioning' it hat hand over she might call you arguing in public and in front of the child and you're arguing has caused her anxiety such that she can't cope with attending hand overs anymore.... Oh the fun.... And mentioning it at all at change over's if you have an AVO against you is all the more stupid...

    So outta interest, 18-month-old.... What sort of time do you have in interim orders? What do you reckon you'll get at the end of this great big game that all the family can play called Family Law...
    you have a long road ahead... Keep your sense of humour about you and play smart...
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Don't respond.

    Simple.
     
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  6. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    I think you should definitely respond, these are all valuable records if you go to court...but do it diplomatically... Word it like this:

    "I was careful to make sure our son wears appropriate footwear and do not know if, when or how he got a splinter".

    If you did not respond, you lost that evidence to show the judge!
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Evidence of what? That mum is concerned about her kid getting splinters? Dad knows a response denying liability will only serve to aggravate the situation, so what is the purpose of responding? To prove a point? To cause more friction? To entice mum to 'say something wrong so you can show the judge'?

    Clancy, what you're inviting with your preoccupation with evidence gathering is conflict and mud-slinging, which advances neither party's case in a parenting matter. Mum isn't enquiring about school or changes to care arrangements. She's baiting dad for a fight about control over something as trivial as footwear. Responding is only going to cause a fight, and evidence of a fight is nothing more than evidence to persuade the Court that that the parents can't cooperate.
     
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  8. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    What the hell are you talking about? Any lawyer will tell you to keep good records of everything that happens. Plus....has the definition of 'diplomatic' been changed to 'stir up trouble' since I last checked? What the hell man?

    Also..You cannot assume or control what her motivations are, you can only control what you do.
     
  9. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Calm down kiddies...

    Look both are reasonable approaches. With my ex, I have found a passive non-response works best, but that is only because she would keep pestering me and then there would be bs texts about my inability to communicate...blah blah.

    So a strategically worded text or two just got her off my case...

    But no magistrate is gonna reduce a dad's time for ignoring bs text messages...
     
  10. Lennon

    Lennon Well-Known Member

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    I would respond with a light "Hi Ex, thanks for your text letting me know that DS has seen the doctor to have splinters removed, I appreciate you keeping me informed. I do ensure that he wears appropriate footwear when he spends time with me and I have no knowledge of how he got the splinters."
     
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