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NSW Family Law - Tips on What to Do During Family Report?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mylife, 15 October 2016.

  1. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    We (my husband and I) have a court ordered family report date approaching. All the children living in our household have also been requested to attend, which I thought was a little odd.

    Anyway, I'm wanting to know if anyone can give us any hints/tips?

    I understand that it is not about trying to degrade or portray the other parent in a bad or poor light. There are issues that we do need to raise in relation to behaviour that are not in the children's best interests and not promoting a relationship with the other parent. We also have some pretty derogatory Facebook posts (posted by their adult sibling relating to myself and husband).

    We are concerned the children are being subjected to these attitudes and overhearing things they shouldn't. They have in fact confirmed this verbally to us. It's becoming increasingly difficult. The only time the other parent will agree to is half holidays (only 2 weeks at Christmas), but with the proviso the children have the final say and advise us 30 days in advance.

    We have asked for half holidays, plus a weekend monthly custody of children. Happy to alternate, so they children would really only travel second monthly. Children seem very happy and excited over the phone when the weekend plans are made, however, at the last minute, the other parent will only allow a matter of hours and with one child not both, etc.

    It's all done under the pretense of the children not wanting to. Do we even raise these issues during the family report?

    We both believe it is best for the children to have a strong loving bond with both parents. That's difficult when you are only "allowed" to spend short amounts of time 3 or 4 times per year.

    Any help on family law would be much appreciated.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I think you're on the money. Focus on the positive environment you have for the kids. Explain that there are obviously some issues - otherwise you would not be going to court. And mostly those issues are about the time you'll spend with the kids but that you believe that successful co-parenting can happen once that hurdle is overcome.

    Focus on the bit you mentioned about it being best for children to have a strong loving bond with both parents.

    The ex is gonna do all the hard work for you. Hopefully, she will rant about what a crap dad blah blah blah because she will have to explain why she is restricting the time the kids spend with dad...
    Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sammy,

    Thanks for your reply.

    We've had multiple reasons as to why the children's time is restricted. In the initial affidavit it was all about yes, yes, I'd like them to spend time. Then when she realised child support would reduce, we went to no, they have weekend sport ( only enrolled when proceedings started) commencing high school ( homework) which we said is portable and would like the chance to participate in helping with their homework, then it was they have parties/social lives.

    Ok sure, we can change weekends. Then too much travel. Now it's just quite simply "they don't want to". I asked the question as a parent, if they don't want to speak to me or spend time with me, is that acceptable? If they don't want to go to school is that acceptable? So why are they able to choose whether to communicate or spend time with their parent.

    The other parent does nothing to encourage or promote a relationship. We actually have in writing it's not up to her to do that. In fact, if she was thinking of the children it would be best for them. As I said, strong bonds with not only their parents but extended families step siblings too.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You've said here that you understand it's not about degrading the other parent, but then have gone on to talk about all the things you want to bring up that essentially degrade the other parent.

    Don't fall into that trap. A family report writer isn't interested in the bickering and criticism. They know about it already, otherwise they would be out of the job, and besides, whose version of events is the more credible is for the Court to decide.

    What the family report writer wants to know about is the dynamic of the relationship between the subject children and the people in each household who are significant to them - mum, dad, siblings including half and step, etc.

    They want to observe the child's relationship with each parent, observe how they interact, if the kids are comfortable, etc.

    One of the issues that often come out of a family report is the sense by the writer that one of the parents doesn't genuinely support and encourage the children's relationship with the other parent. Don't be that parent.

    If mum is seeking only two weeks at Christmas and thinks the kids should get the final say about whether or not that tiny little fragment of time actually takes place, I highly doubt she's going to need your help exposing her true colours to the report writer, so let her go and you just focus on showing the report writer that there's no reason for the kids not to spend more time with you.

    Bring your concerns about the mother to the Court, but leave them out of the family report. They're not interested in what mum said on Facebook.

    Forgive me, I've read your previous posts but have forgotten how old the kids are?
     
  5. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    The children are 13.

    The Facebook posts are from their adult sister. It's not our intention to degrade any family member, simply put a stop to these things the children are exposed to.

    Again it's not an insult to the other parent, but her "excuses" don't seem to reflect what is in the children's best interests. In the child inclusive conference, it was pointed out one child clearly functions at a lower level. For example at 13 didn't know how many weeks were in a month, or how many months made up a year.

    So I'm having trouble how they can place any weight on his wishes when basic time frames are a struggle?
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    How much travel are you talking about?

    So for you - it should all be about best interests of kids. So you need to have sensible responses to all her hurdles. And nope, the kids should gett get to choose this way or that about when they see dad, especally when clearly she is intent of not letting you see the kids.

    Do the family report - Go to court - get a judge to decide - judge will be fair - ex wil not. Simple.
     
  7. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    We would like them one weekend per month Fri-Sun, depending on their social calendar/sport, etc. As an alternative we offered to travel up every second month so they would also only be travelling every second month. Their other parent has said they get home sick, so we thought it may be of benefit to them to have shorter more regular visits.

    However, even when they've stayed for a week during holidays they've never displayed any signs of being homesick or asking to go home earlier. If anything they express how disappointed they are that the time has gone too quickly. As for the other hurdles, sport would be missed maybe once every 3 months, homework can be done with us. Parties etc, we can negotiate the weekend, so o really can't see any issues. I am just confirming I'm not being biased and truly keeping the kids best interests at heart. That is, strong close relationships with both parents and extended
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Go to court - don't waste your time with foolish arguments. Go to the family report writer. Talk up how much you wanna be part of the kids lives.
     
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  9. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sammy :)

    That was generally our plan. We were just surprised all the children from this household would be involved and we weren't sure what to expect. As well as bringing up issues of concern without degrading the other parent.

    Thanks for all help given :)
     
  10. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    There are things neither you, nor a court order can control. What the sister posts to Facebook is one of them. What the mother says to the kids is another. The family report writer knows this, so there's really no point wasting even one minute of time talking about it with the report writer, when that minute would be better spent talking about how you want to be a part of the kids' lives.

    The reason they want to speak to everyone in your household is because the children will be having a significant relationship with everyone in your household. The Court won't benefit as much from knowing about the relationship with you and dad as it will from also knowing about the relationship with the siblings. Having your kids involved will only benefit your case, since the Court will see some value in ensuring they're given ample opportunity to hound a sibling relationship by spending more time together.
     

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