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SophieW

Well-Known Member
30 November 2019
26
10
149
Ha ha you totally read my mind about "yeah right, not with his ex" !!!

That's a really good suggestion. I guess we might think of 50/50 as the "gold standard", but there are definitely other good options out there, like yours. One factor is that both my partner and his ex work full time. I (new partner) have kids, so one extra is no bother. I guess we just see how it plays out. Right now, the amount of time we have through the consent orders feels like heaven, given my partner had essentially zero time with his child for almost a year!
 

GlassHalfFull

Well-Known Member
28 August 2018
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26
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Yeah, my understanding is the same as Sammy's, they only give 50/50 time when there's little to no conflict between parents. Although still, I don't see how it significantly changes the situation whether you have 7 nights a fortnight or 5.

If your ex is going to make life difficult for all involved, he/she will do it regardless of how many nights it is! But I think Sammy is probably also right about less than 50% being more conducive to quality time with the kids... We always want (well involved parents do anyway) our fair share of time with our children, but having a break is important too. That might be the one positive to come out of a relationship breakdown involving kids... you get a break! :D

Sophie, I've been through something pretty similar to your partner in the last 18 months or so. The allegations were even more serious (based on what you've said) but were still baseless and were ultimately demonstrated to be. But I had to jump through more hoops (psych reports, family reports etc) to get to that point and it took perhaps 9 months before supervision was removed.

I'm now in the process of trying to get overnight time starting with just one or two nights, but I'm still nervous that because my ex is essentially putting up barriers everywhere she can, and is prepared to lie and exaggerate and twist the truth to badmouth me as a parent and cause conflict whenever she can, and I'm still a bit uncertain about whether this behaviour from her is going to be punished by the 'system' (family report writer, judge, ICL etc), or whether it'll simply appear that we're both equally incapable of co-parenting and therefore little or no progression of time is in the best interest of the children...

I hope it's not the latter, and thankfully I don't think the children (who are still quite young) are exposed to or aware of much of it.
 

smallcat

Well-Known Member
8 January 2020
30
0
121
Good luck to everyone on here fighting the good fight. Our story isn't over yet, but the future is SO much brighter. I hope this has given someone out there some hope to keep going!
Hi SophieW, good to hear that you can see a brighter future.

You might read my thread already. As our kid is just 2-yo, in case I fight in court, I am not sure I can get 100% care although my ex had DV me and verbosely abused our kid.

I plan to do self-reps when getting an interim order from Federal Circuit Court. Can you tell me more about the procedures and how to prepare the affidavit? It really is a torture to go through all the tear and laugh from our message history...
 

SophieW

Well-Known Member
30 November 2019
26
10
149
We always want (well involved parents do anyway) our fair share of time with our children, but having a break is important too. That might be the one positive to come out of a relationship breakdown involving kids... you get a break! :D
I totally get this!!! I have been a 100% single parent for years... it is bloody hard work! o_O ;)

Sophie, I've been through something pretty similar to your partner in the last 18 months or so. The allegations were even more serious (based on what you've said) but were still baseless and were ultimately demonstrated to be. But I had to jump through more hoops (psych reports, family reports etc) to get to that point and it took perhaps 9 months before supervision was removed. I'm now in the process of trying to get overnight time starting with just one or two nights, but I'm still nervous that because my ex is essentially putting up barriers everywhere she can, and is prepared to lie and exaggerate and twist the truth to badmouth me as a parent and cause conflict whenever she can, and I'm still a bit uncertain about whether this behaviour from her is going to be punished by the 'system' (family report writer, judge, ICL etc), or whether it'll simply appear that we're both equally incapable of co-parenting and therefore little or no progression of time is in the best interest of the children... I hope it's not the latter, and thankfully I don't think the children (who are still quite young) are exposed to or aware of much of it.
I'm so sorry to hear this... My partner has spent $$$ on supervised care, reports etc, not to mention blood tests, legal advice... It's bull**** and so unfair. I know what you mean about worrying the judge/ICL etc will say something like "you're just as bad as each other". I worry about this but I figure as long as we keep our requests really reasonable, it's hard for the powers that be to come to this conclusion. It sounds like you are being super reasonable re one or two nights. And I agree, one thing I am so grateful for is that the child in this situation (and yours) is/are so young. They really have very little idea that any of this is happening...
 

SophieW

Well-Known Member
30 November 2019
26
10
149
Hi smallcat, I thoroughly doubt you can get 100% care. Even 50/50 might be unlikely (see previous comments on this post). As I understand it, to get 100% care, you would have to prove the other parent is a serious risk to the CHILD (not to you).

I had a look at your post - I think you need to initiate a mediation session ASAP, e.g. through Relationships Australia. Do it as fast as possible, because the more time you spend away from your child, the easier it is for the other parent to claim "he doesn't really have a relationship with the kid/s".

If the mum is unreasonable in mediation, then you could start a case in the Federal Circuit Court (using the form "initiating application"). Bear in mind though that even as a self-rep, this is going to cost you about $500 to just file the case. But I'd think really carefully about what "unreasonable in mediation" is. Say the mother offers you two days/week in mediation - if you say "no" and go to court because you insist on, say, 100% care, you will get your butt kicked by the judge. It would be better to start small and have increases in time written into the orders that come out of mediation (although others can tell you if this is good advice - I'm speculating if increases in time can be written into orders - see previous comments on this thread).

One piece of advice I got early on was "take whatever time you can get". You don't want to refuse a few hours or days per week because you think you deserve more (even though you probably do). A refusal would just lead to her claiming later on that "he never bothered to spend any time with the kids" or "I offered him time and he refused it". Just because you start with a few hours or a day or whatever, doesn't mean you can't go to court down the track later if negotiations to increase time seriously break down.

Happy to provide more advice on how to do an affidavit once or if you get to that stage!
 

Tremaine

Well-Known Member
5 February 2019
172
30
514
That’s a great start, SophieW. Good work, keep up the good fight.

My partner is 50/50 for care of his kid, after a variety of proceedings in court, but they got there by settling on parenting orders by consent (as most do). I don’t know what would have happened if they’d gone to trial, but I think after many talking-downs by the judge and what was coming out of the evidence, she realised or was maybe told that going to trial was not the best option. We were self-repping throughout, as well.

Someone above said there’s not much difference between five nights and seven, but we’ve been in both situations and personally, I think 50/50 is far more effective as far as parenting goes. When it was five nights a fortnight, the pattern was broken up into three nights every second weekend and one night during the week, so establishing any consistent patterns in terms of household rules, and morning/evening routines was just an unattainable objective. It was seen more like a ‘visit’ or a ‘holiday’ with dad, rather than parenting time. The time was also filled with activities because the time to do those activities was so little and so precious, it left little time for the boring parts of being a family, like watching television or leaving the kids to use their imaginations and entertain themselves. If we did those things, it just felt like wasted time (according to my partner).

At 50/50, though, we are way more involved in schooling and extra-curriculars, we have had far more success in establishing household routines and administering discipline, plus we don’t plan our lives - and the lives of our other kids - around the care schedule anymore. Kiddo coming and going is just part of the pattern, now, instead of a special event. We’ve also enjoyed other little flow-on benefits, too, like mum wanting to just share costs equally instead of paying child support, and even getting along well enough that we can all attend the same events, even have conversations, with low-key confidence that there’s not going to be a blow-up.

It’s a shame that equal care isn’t the presumption, really, in the same context that equal shared parental responsibility is - where it’s assumed, unless someone can persuade the court that it’s not in the best interests of the child. 50/50 isn’t for everyone or every situation, of course (like obviously the court isn’t going to let such a presumption prevail if the parents are living 2000kms apart), but I think a lot more parents would be more willing to compromise and negotiate an outcome outside of court if they knew 50/50 was assumed.

Anyway, ask for 50/50 if you can do 50/50 and there’s no reasons, in your view, why 50/50 shouldn’t be granted. At the time, I thought 50/50 was a pipe dream, that mum would fight tooth and nail against any more than the three nights a fortnight she was seeking, but it was like the impending cost and risk of trial motivated her to really have some perspective, and it’s truly been better for all of us.
 

SophieW

Well-Known Member
30 November 2019
26
10
149
Hi Tremaine, thanks so much for sharing your story! I think our situation would suit 50/50 well - father's household has me (new partner) and other children, well set up family home, etc. Both mum and dad of the child work full time, so there's no argument that "mum is stay-at-home primary parent". We will see how we go...
 

SamanthaJay

Well-Known Member
4 July 2016
332
54
794
My (recently) ex partner eventually got 50/50 - it was also by settling before final court date by consent. The other parent finally worked out that she was doing herself no favors after several unsatisfactory performances in front of the judge/via affidavits and correspondence to my ex partner and his lawyer and the ICL. It was extremely high conflict. She was self representing. She fought tooth and nail against the father having any time beyond one weekend a fortnight. In fact the judge was happy to give her less than 50/50.

Before the incident that instigated this round of of proceedings, my ex had the child one weekend a fortnight and half of school holidays. The child is now a young teenager.
 
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GlassHalfFull

Well-Known Member
28 August 2018
342
26
654
It's nice to hear stories of combative and difficult parents getting a dressing down from the judge and ending up with 50/50 (or less). I think it's far more likely to end up with results like that when the child(ren) is(are) at least mid to late primary school age though. When the children are young (babies, toddlers, etc, it's much harder to wrest the control away from the other parent because equal time isn't really a consideration and SOMEONE has to be the primary carer. In most cases, the existing (manipulative, nasty etc) parent will keep the children for the sake of continuity.. at least that's my understanding.
 
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Tremaine

Well-Known Member
5 February 2019
172
30
514
Yes, it’s certainly harder to get 50/50 with young kids, but my partner’s kid was four years old at the time they reached consent orders, so the time with her dad graduated from two nights a fortnight to seven nights a fortnight over the course of 18 months. Holidays were shared equally throughout, so I think she would have been fine to transition to 50/50 after six months because the week-about from the school holidays could have just persisted when she started school, but doing it over 18 months was a compromise (mum wanted the increase of time to happen over about six years).

Anyway, things are really good, now, which is something I never thought I’d say four years ago when nearly every interaction ended in the police called. Hope lives on!
 
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