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QLD Father's Visitation Rights - Is 5 to 7 Days Reasonable?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by LucyLou, 31 July 2015.

  1. LucyLou

    LucyLou Member

    31 July 2015
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    I have been separated since 8/4/15, with a 3-year-old daughter (6/7/12). There is no custody of children agreement under family law in place since the separation, and I live a 3.5 hours drive from father. The father wants the daughter at his residence for 5- 7 days and he has a sleep disorder (idiopathic hypersomia). He is on medication to hold drivers licence!

    Is 5-7 days reasonable visitation rights or too long for a 3 year old, and who is responsible for costs to get her there?
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    24 December 2014
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    Hi LucyLou,

    Without a custody order, you and the father are free to agree to any terms you believe are in the best interests of your daughter. When you say "5-7" days, is that out of each week? Whether a private arrangement is reasonable or not depends on a number of factors, including:
    • how close is the daughter with the father?
    • father's background (the fact he has a sleeping disorder should not be held against him or diminish his right to see his daughter, unless it is seriously dangerous for your daughter to be around him without anyone else present)?
    • where is you daughter's social network (family, friends, pre-schooling)?
    The starting point is that a father and mother should share parenting responsibilities, and it's desirable for the child to see both parents equally or as much as possible. It's great that the father wants to see his daughter more and wants a relationship with her. This should be encouraged for the sake of your daughter (two loving parents is better than one!)

    It's still a recent separation so it's probably best to not change too much in your daughter's life, including seeing her father. I would say, whatever you feel is reasonable and in the best interests of your daughter. Remember, it is great having another parent involved and wanting to help out. Set aside your personal feelings toward the father. What would your daughter want?
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    I agree with the above. This depends on the relationship the child has with the other parent, and the issue with assessing that is that if often comes with a lot of bias.

    Try and think objectively about it. When you were together during happier times, your child spent five to seven nights with the other parent on a regular basis, and you would have been okay with that. His ability to parent and the relationship your daughter has with him is unlikely to have changed just because you've separated. Further, your child is likely experiencing some strain at suddenly not seeing her father very much anymore.

    Ordinarily, it's generally accepted among psychologists that young children should enjoy shorter periods of time with the other parent, but more frequently. However, given the tyearanny of distance influencing your circumstances, it would be impractical to expect three time-spent-with periods a week when there's a 3.5 hour drive each way involved. Five to seven days may be more practical, and if the child's relationship with the other parent is good, then it may be of benefit to the child, as well. Generally, less changeovers tend to be better for kids, as well - less chance of conflict, less transitions from house to house, etc.

    You might consider talking to Relationships Australia, who offer a great 'Child Consultation' for parents to talk about children's developmental and emotional needs according to their age. I really encourage parents to be fair and equitable at this time, too, because doing so will help you maintain amicability with the other parent and avoid court in future. It's always in the best interests of the child for the parents to get along, and court is one sure fire way to make sure that doesn't happen! :p

    In regards to cost, if you can reach agreement with the other parent about it, then costs can be covered however you jointly choose. You might like to pay for costs for one way, and he pay costs for the other, or just divide all costs equally. Consider, as well, which party moved away. If it was his decision, it might be fair to expect that he pay half of your costs and all of his own, or if it was your decision, then it may be fair to expect that you will cover the majority of costs.

    Anyway, hope this helps.
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