QLD Help with Inclusions for Parenting Plan and Family Court Orders?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by appleton, 24 November 2019.

  1. appleton

    appleton Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have been following and reading a number of posts regarding parenting plans / parenting orders/ consent orders as we are very new to this and want to understand the process properly. My partner and his ex have just started the mediation process for developing a parenting plan (and then a divorce).

    Would appreciate any help on inclusions for the parenting plans, especially around interstate visitation, communication, etc. And if we should proceed to have these issued as family court orders through the courts.

    Interstate; he lives on the East Coast, the child lives on the West Coas (originally planned that they would follow him over once established).

    Since commencing mediation, she has been communicating frequently sending photos of the child (3 years), however, in the previous months, has blocked us on all communication (phone/email/text) contacting only to demand money (over and above agreed child support). We are concerned that as a parenting plan is non-binding, she will again block communication and prevent father/child establishing a relationship.

    She is very manipulative and any attempts to resolve issues result in verbal abuse, blackmail, and threatens to have him charged for Domestic Violence (unsubstantiated) or kick out of the country (non-resident). Any communication with her causes stress. On occasions where we have have the child in our care overnight, we have a barrage of texts/emails from her, as well as threats of calling the police for kidnapping when he took her somewhere (home) that she didn't agree, or when delayed returning her due to delays from traffic and the constant harassment of text messages. On some occasions, she has cancelled visits last minute or demanded that he remained in the front yard of the property to spend time with the child.

    There is a direct child support payment in place (well over and above the amount should it go through child services). She lives an Instagram free love life and in the past has used him as an ATM, as we have become more educated on not funding her lifestyle, she has become more manipulative (including abusing me in front of the child). He was not informed of medical issues, resulting in hospital visits.

    Interstate isn't ideal, but we are hoping to find a solution that limits our/his need to communicate with her and have a plan in place that allows father/child to establish a relationship.

    Appreciate your comments.
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    There's a few good pointers in this from this government site >>>> https://www.familyrelationships.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/06_2017/parenting-plans.pdf

    In terms of having something, a parenting plan is much better than nothing... If it is continually & seriously 'breached' & you then apply to court for orders, the terms of a current PP must be given regard when considering orders, & if the terms of the plan were in all the circumstances practical, then it is easier to have clauses placed in a subsequent order to deal with contraventions, parental responsibility & the like...

    In that regard, you can think of a formal PP as a type of 'interim court order' in as much as it serves to demonstrate to the court (should that became necessary) how the parents can manage & abide by arrangements they have agreed on.
     
  3. appleton

    appleton Active Member

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    Thanks so much for your feedback.

    We have booked flights to travel Interstate next year for visitation, and have confirmed with the mother the dates that we will be there, however she is refusing to confirm if we can have child for the duration.

    We are hesitant to confirm accommodation (cost) and with mediation pending, am interested to understand the best approach regarding sharing the visitation related expenses (Flights, accommodation & Car rental) as I know that this is something she will outright refuse and expect him to pay the entire amount (which is financially crippling and preventing frequent engagement with child).
     
  4. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    So to clarify the quote below....you have a child support assessment in place with CSA, but are doing private collect, & that you are actually paying more than the assessed amount, is that correct?
    As far as confirming dates for visitation, so everybody knows well in advance, you are best off locking in a specific period every term/year....That should then be written into your parenting plan/consent order
     
  5. appleton

    appleton Active Member

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    Hi Atticus,

    That is correct, he is paying a much higher rate than the CSA assessment and are paying it directly to the mother.

    The parenting plan will be developed as part of mediation - this is yet to occur (wait time for third party appointments) and the visit occurs soon after the mediation.

    We have written and confirmed with the mother the dates that we will be there, but that does not give us any reassurance that we will still be able to see the child, or at least be given the run around and terrible experiences we've had to date.
     
  6. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts are that if nothing regarding costs of visitation can be agreed to, then a 'suggestion' that you may have to look at holding back a reasonable part of the associated total travel costs from you child support payments... If that isn't acceptable, then invite her to return to the CSA formula payments
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Stop paying child support above the assessed amount. So go to a restaurant, the waitress ashes her ciggie in your drink. The food is undercooked and over-priced. Do you leave a tip?
     
  8. appleton

    appleton Active Member

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    Thanks for your comments.

    At the end of the day, my partner still wants the best for his child, but I think we will look to reduce the child support amount to offset the cost of visitation (for him only). Unfortunately neither of us are Australian citizens, so our understanding of processes here is limited (but learning!).

    We are trying for the mature "win/win" approach, (noting comments from other threads about trying to find working solutions) but i have very little trust in her. There has been threats/abuse and constant slander over social media. In the past we have received constant calls/emails/texts demanding money (over and above child support) for day care payments, with constant abuse and emotional blackmail followed by being blocked access to the child.

    As she has sole custody, we feel we currently have little choice - hopefully something mediation and the following steps can address.
     
  9. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    Given what you have written above, if it was me, I would be leaving the 'costs for visitation & mum's contribution to it' conversation to another time... I would jut be doing the utmost to get an agreed parenting plan in place from this mediation session.

    Once you have that, then you can discuss the travel costs... The ball's in your court already on that issue. You can just simply hold back costs from your excess payments if no agreement can be made
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    ask for confirmation - give her 5 days.
    Dear ex,
    please confirm in writing that ....?????

    No response?
    Dear ex
    Please contact the child support agency. All payments need to go through them.

    If she responds nicely - sweet move on. Easy
     
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