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VIC Father of Children Not Cooperating at Family Dispute Resolution?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Kmacmumma, 9 June 2016.

  1. Kmacmumma

    Kmacmumma Active Member

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    Everyone,

    I left my kids' father due to years of Domestic Violence. To cut a long story short, our kids are 3 and 8, he lives 45 minutes away in another town (rural area) and will not accept anything except week on week off, or two days a week with him and alternate weekends. Our youngest is in 2 different daycare centres, which is confusing for him.

    I have no idea how our eldest gets to school and back in his care and her readers or homework do not get done in his care. We tried Family Dispute Resolution and a certificate was issued saying it wasn't suitable. I saw a solicitor who has now got me to apply for a grant of Legal Aid for a Family Dispute Resolution conference, which will not be til August. The certificate was issued in March.

    I know dad will not negotiate as he has already said this, but my solicitor says it's better staying out of family court and attempting Family Dispute Resolution first. But I already have a certificate and he won't cooperate! Plus his had his girlfriend of only 6 months move in to his house, and then out again, and our daughter was crying saying she didn't want to go there. I have no idea what to do.

    The solicitors keep telling me to hang in there, but it seems as if no one is listening. I left because of Domestic Violence, yet I still have to hand the children over and have no idea what may be happening in his care! Plus be intimidated by him, his mother and girlfriend.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Please, I'm getting desperate :(
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    The solicitor is giving you good advice. Try and stay out of court. So you have a range of options. Now that is important. Why? Well, it should give you some confidence. The reason the ex is applying pressure is because he really doesn't have a range of options. He has to basically stick to whatever the current arrangements are.

    So what sort of access does he currently have?

    Your options:

    1. Refuse - then let him apply to family court which he may or may not do, and the courts may or may not increase his time anyways.
    2. Agree - Give it a trial for 3 months, but this is fraught with danger. Once you do this, well who gets to decide if it is working? He might say it is working and you say it isn't. What then?
    3. Agree - BTW the only concerns you have expressed in your post is about travel. Well 45 minutes each way isn't terrible. Let's face it, most city dwellers would spend an hour or more on public transport to get to school/work. 2. Homework not getting done. I agree not great, but not child abuse either. I really do think the best way to raise kids with two homes is with lots of support and no conflict.

    When that happens 50/50 works well, but you have to do everything you can to make it work. Just one more thing for you to know. Once he has more than 35% care it can make substantial changes to child support and family tax benefit.

    My suggestion: Tell him that you have legal advice not to discuss this matter until the Family Dispute Resolution conference in August and most importantly, tell him to stop pestering you because it is harassment. Stand up for yourself.
     
  3. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

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    What sammy said. Also...

    Do you have Court Orders? If so how old are they?

    How do you know the 8-year-old is not reading or doing homework? Have you been interrogating the child about her time at dad's? Not saying you are but this is not a good look on your part if you have.

    What time arrangements are you proposing? Are they far divided from the father's?

    There is a possibility that Legal Aid may not fund you for Court if you do not attend a conference first.
     
  4. Kmacmumma

    Kmacmumma Active Member

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    I don't question my daughter in anything as I don't believe it's right. They have a diary that has to be signed by the parent each night, I can see he doesn't sign it.

    I'm proposing to keep his weekends but do Fri, Sat and Sun nights and he can get them to school Monday morning and I will collect that afternoon. Also midweek/overnight visit with him.

    The hardest thing is I have stable work hours and he doesn't. So sometimes when he has them he is late during the week which is not his fault, but it ends up being really late for the kids having dinner and bedtime, and then they are exhausted the next day and have to get up even earlier when they are at his place. If his hours change or it becomes easier it may be easier to change.
     
  5. Kmacmumma

    Kmacmumma Active Member

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    Oh and no court orders
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Look - sounds like you're going about it the right way. I reckon there are lots of advantages to shared care if it is done right. Why not suggest Fri-Mon and an additional night once a fortnight especially until the youngest is 4 or 5.

    There are lots of misinterpretations of Jen McIntosh's work available on the net. But there is always one consistency. Conflict is bad. But she also talks about kids having a primary attachment figure in the first few yrs of life (generally the mother).

    My version which is super simplified goes like this. One night per week for each year of life leading up to week about care by the age of 6-7 if all goes well.

    As far as stuff like two pre-schools go. Look I wouldn't worry. That is the reality of shared parenting...messy, but kids just see it as another opportunity to make friends, etc.
     

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