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NSW Family Law - Threats Received Through Ex's Lawyer - What To Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Corinne, 11 February 2016.

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  1. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    My partner has received an email from his ex's lawyer making all these accusations about letting his 5-year-old son watch inappropriate movies and video games (false), that we didn't evacuate our house early enough when there was a bushfire in the area (CFA did not advise us to leave but we left anyway) and demands we not take his son to the local swimming hole because it's too dangerous.

    Apparently if we don't respond to this letter, they'll make us pay his ex's court costs under Family Law.

    This is a load of s**t right?
     
  2. Sweeney Todd

    Sweeney Todd Well-Known Member

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    I would say so. If your partner's ex truly thought there was ongoing threat of harm to his son, they would contact Child Protection who have the power to actually do something. All a solicitor can do is write letters.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok so a bit more detail? Does your partner have consent orders? Parenting plan? Court orders? Or is there a court case pending. The opinion I'd give will change depending on the answer.

    My opinion... Ignore it. But there is some merit in writing a very long response.

    Be nice but be nice. Seek clarification. What was the movie? Has a medical professional recommended the child doesn't swim? Explain that you didn't start the fire, explain that you evacuated etc. and then ask where the mother feels you were in the wrong. The longer the letter the more $$$ it will cost the ex.

    As far as costs go, don't worry. Costs can only be ordered by a magistrate and if a magistrate read the letter the magistrate would laugh his way out of court.

    But most importantly, answer my questions because if you don't have court orders and mum only lets him see the kid when it suits her then maybe you need to think about the long term strategy.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't use a long email for this. It turns something that isn't a thing into a thing, and it uses your time for free while the lawyer pockets more funds that could otherwise go to the child. I would just write back and say in shortest form:

    1. The children have at no time watched films inappropriate for their age.
    2. The decision to evacuate our household is not a matter relevant to the parenting orders.
    3. Where the children swim is a day-to-day decision and therefore does not require consultation with the mother.
    Please advise your client accordingly.

    That's it.

    We had an allegation come through that I had struck my stepdaughter, the day after the mother had lost her temper about us moving house. My husband simply said "In response to the allegation, I wish to confirm that AFH has at no time struck X," and that was the last we heard of it. If it's an issue on your end, then write a lengthy email, but if it's an issue on their end, don't waste your time arguing about it.
     
    Junior, teflongirl and Nick Handson like this.
  5. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    We denied everything but she's come back with random text messages and Facebook screenshots about stupid things.

    First court date is Monday so it's up to the judge now I guess.

    No consent orders or parenting plan. She moved 3.5 hours away with his son last year on the proviso that the child would start school back down here. As soon as we let her go, she went back on her word of course so now we're just trying to get the best orders in place for the current situation.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's fine, the text messages don't mean anything unless tendered in context as evidence.

    Let us know how your hearing goes on Monday.
     
  7. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    It went pretty well. Was only supposed to be interim but my partner was self-representing as we can't afford lawyers, etc. and we were in way over our head trying to battle her lawyer's ridiculous letters and affidavits. So when the other party asked if we just wanted to sort the whole thing out then and there we agreed.

    We already gathered it was too late to try and get her to move back. Or if we did want to try, it would have resulted in a hefty drawn out case. The judge was saying hearings in his jurisdiction are booked up three years in advance.

    So the final orders my partner settled with are every second weekend with his son, with one of those weekends to be spent in the new location where his ex is. She'll pay half his accommodation costs. He'll get a fair chunk of school holidays (10 days). She can't move more than 20kms from her current residence without consent.

    I think it's the best outcome without starting a war. In and out of the system in four months.
     
  8. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you might be in the Parramatta court district.

    I'm glad to hear that some sort of agreement was reached. Plenty of parents focus more on the past and on winning than on the future and what's best for the child. Of course, relocating probably wasn't the best decision for the child, but neither is the three-year court process trying to get them relocated back again. It's immensely costly on time, emotional energy and finances, and it will ensure any chance of developing an amicable co-parenting relationship will likely never come to pass.

    I hope it is smooth sailing for you and your family from now on.
     
  9. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    Cheers.

    Yeah it's Parramatta. The judge said he's burnt out :-/
     
  10. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    So the first changeover since court she wasn't even there. Too busy with uni work apparently so her partner and an 18 year old family friend dropped the child off.
    Surely this is an example of not being able to facilitate contact? Or does the word 'facilitate' mean anyone she can find who has a driver's licence? Ugh.
     

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