NSW Father's Rights when Family Court Orders Not Followed?

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26 May 2015
Family court orders are in place and the mother of a child decides she no longer wants to let father speak to child over the phone and will not drop child off at fathers home (court order states mum to drop off Friday and dad to drop off Sunday). The only reason is mum was told dad and new partner of 2 years expecting baby. What help is available when dad can't afford lawyer?

Also, when child was seeing dad, mum would send sms asking why child visited his family, why did child eat apples and not oranges, why child put on weight when child with dad and the list goes on. Smsing saying derogatory comments about dad and partner, when is enough enough and who can help dad? Police have said if mum doesn't drop child off, they can't help, just go to court.

Legal aid is not an option unfortunately and a lawyer is definitely not. What help can you give as dad is at his wits end and feels no-one will help.


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
Ring the Family court and say you want to file contempt of court order charges and see how you go.
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Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Mm, I think you'll have more luck with contravention orders than contempt of court, but up to you, I suppose.

As for representation, have you considered self-representing?

I understand that self-representing may seem daunting, but there are lots of resources freely available to help you through the process, and you can use solicitors on an ad hoc basis to check your affidavits and other forms before filing. There are also community legal services that will provide guidance, as well, and it sounds like you may have endured the court process before, as well, so you'll have some experience with the atmosphere, am I correct?

The other issues you're having with your ex are fairly common in co-parenting relationships where there is still a lot of conflict. Unfortunately, though, it's a personality flaw, rather than a legal issue. The court will be interested to see how you manage the conflict with the other parent, though, because a parent who does their utmost to disengage from conflict is a parent who is putting their child's emotional needs ahead of their own frustrations - a huge plus in the court's view. At least one of you has to be the model parent that is focused on the child, and if the mother refuses to do it, then it's up to you to balance the negative influence with a positive one.

If I may provide some personal experience, rather than purely legal guidance, I found Relationships Australia's post-separation parenting course to be very helpful in learning to better manage a high-conflict co-parent, not just for your child's benefit, but also for your own benefit. One of the most significant outcomes for me was just the emotional relief of learning not to take the bait or be affected by petty criticisms blasted our way by the other parent. Taking it all with a grain of salt is easier said than done, which is why this course is so useful - you learn to detach a bit from the other parent and instate very clear boundaries about what is acceptable communication and what isn't.

The court also looks highly on parents who take active steps to improve the co-parenting relationship, so it might be worth considering, anyhow.

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014