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QLD Family Law - Self-Representing in Court - Chances of Unsupervised Time?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Junior, 10 March 2016.

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  1. Junior

    Junior Well-Known Member

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    A trial is already set for 3 days mid this season. How can a SRL cope with this stressful situation?

    I keep asking myself about this for a long time now. I did have numerous advice from the Family Solicitors but each one of them was saying different things. The last Solicitor I have spoken to said, I was doing well and I may not need to spend an obscene amount of money to pay for Barrister and Solicitor during the trial.

    But my question was this, do I have chances of having an equal opportunity to spend time with my children unsupervised under Family Law?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I think what you're asking is 'Am I going to receive a fair hearing if I am self-represented?'

    On the books, yes. In reality, probably not as fair as one might prefer.

    The problem with being an SRL is that they don't know court etiquette, how to question relevantly, how to focus on what's important. Too often, they get bogged down in focusing on the dispute between the parents, rather than what's best for the kids. They focus on all the awful wrongs done to them or to the kids in the past, rather than how to manage these problems moving forward.

    For example, say the mother withheld the children's time with you for a period of 18 months in the past. Framing your argument about this as "Look at the terrible decision she made" is not helpful. Framing it as "I am concerned the mother does not support and encourage the children's relationship with me and therefore, their time with me should be maximised to ensure they can maintain a meaningful relationship with me" is helpful.

    Statistically, represented litigants have higher rates of success than self-represented litigants, but if you are well prepared and familiar with what's important, then you can probably get through it reasonably well.

    If you want to prepare yourself as best you can, you should attend on a few Federal Circuit Court trials for parenting matters and observe how they are played out.
     
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  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Can you give more details?

    Why is the other parent refusing unsupervised care?
     
  4. Junior

    Junior Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @ AllForHer,

    I tried to read some article about SRL for more information in regards to family matters. I still have an ample time to prepare before the trial. I just found out that most cases under Magellan Cases go through trial for unsupervised time with the children. Share equal time with the children will be difficult even if i will spend obscene amount of money for Barrister and Solicitor.

    Thanks @ sammy01,

    My Family Matter under the Magellan Case - First Family Report was to spend time with the father under supervision. I am waiting for the second family report.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    There is a book called Breaking Up by a guy called Larkins. Definitely worth a read. You can probably get it from the local library, unless you live near me. I never returned it because it is so valuable to me... (Okay, just exaggerating a bit)

    I do understand the expense (well I don't, it is just disguisting what solicitors charge) and while I'd be okay to self-represent on trival matters, the big ones like relocation or time spent, I'd be paying someone.

    My thoughts go if it goes pear shaped, I could spend the rest of my life blaming a solicitor but if I self-represented and it went badly, I'd have no one to blame but myself. But definately the more you can learn from books/ internet and places like this, the less money you'll spend asking the solicitor to answer those questions for you.

    You might also find a few radio interviews with him that will give you some food for thought - I found one for you
    Friday Talk back: how to break up well - Life Matters - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
     
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  6. Junior

    Junior Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @ sammy01,

    Have you heard about Dr. Craig Childress? He's an American Psychologist with so much to learn from him about alienating parents. You can watch his You Tube video for an hour or more. Definitely, I will look for that book of Robert Larkins. As ALLforHer said in many topics, focus on the children's welfare.
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Childress is a learned man and his work in the field of alienation is unprecedented, but while Australian courts will recognise the actions of a parent in negatively influencing and sundering the relationship between the other parent and child, they don't like to refer to it as alienation because the APA hasn't formally recognised parental alienation syndrome as an illness.

    In Australian courts, the way alienation is generally argued is by referring to it as a parent's failure to support and encourage the child in having a meaningful relationship with the other parent, contrary to their emotional and psychological needs, and contrary to their best interests. Under section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975, it roughly falls under 2(a), 3(f) and 3(i). It's also sometimes referred to as the 'friendly parent' principle.

    Family consultants will also generally identify some tell-tale signs where alienation is an issue, such as children using age-inappropriate language to express their feelings about one parent, or children being unable to pinpoint a memory or reason why they don't want to spend time with that parent, or children having 'memories' that they wouldn't realistically be able to remember of their own accord (such as an 11-year-old 'remembering' some act of domestic violence that allegedly happened when they were only two or three years of age).

    For the record, the 'friendly parent' principle has very much emerged in recent years as a leading reason behind the court's decision to change a child's residency arrangements, in instances where it determines it to be in the child's best interests to do so. The court is definitely not ignorant to it, even if it doesn't like to use the term 'alienation' to describe what's going on.
     

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