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QLD How to Enforce Visitation Rights Agreement Between Parents?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by sadsack, 6 November 2015.

  1. sadsack

    sadsack Member

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    At the time of separation, the mother had an agreement drawn up by her lawyer over child visitation rights. Both parents agreed to the content. It's not been through the courts. How do you enforce this? The father can only get access to his child when the mother says it's ok, even though the child would like to have more contact with the father.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    If the care arrangements are in the form of a consent order sealed by the court, then contraventions can be dealt with by filing contravention order applications. If the child's time with the other parent is being made sporadic, instead of in accordance with the orders, that's a breach the court will take seriously.
     
  3. sadsack

    sadsack Member

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    So we would have to go to court to get the arrangement made legal. Then what is the point of the legal doc the mother had made? Appears this is not worth the paper it is written on. Why would the lawyer even write it up - or is it that it was done as a mutual agreement but does not hold up as a legal doc, therefore the mother does not need to abide by it?
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    My apologies, I thought you said it was already sealed by the court.

    If it hasn't been sealed by the court, then what you have is a parenting plan which is not legally enforceable, that is, the court can't do anything about contraventions (frustrating and pointless, I know). The parents should consider attending a family dispute resolution conference to either reach a new agreement and get it sealed by the court, or discuss enforcement of the existing agreement and then get it sealed by the court. If the other parent is not agreeable, then you may need to apply for parenting orders through the court.
     
  5. sadsack

    sadsack Member

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    Do you have any idea how much it would cost to take this through the courts? Family conference would probably be out of the question. Who would I contact regarding a conference?
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Legal Aid offers family dispute resolution conferences, as does Relationships Australia and most family law practitioners. A family dispute resolution conference is mandatory before a party can commence proceedings in court.

    If you can reach agreement by consent, the cost is minimal - about $155 in filing fees, I think - but if agreement can't be reached and one of the parties applies for parenting orders to be determined by the court, the initial filing fee is $320, plus $110 for interim orders (which you will definitely want), plus whatever the cost is for legal advice or representation, etc.

    While proceedings are under way (they can take several years, which is why you want interim orders to be put in place at first mention for the duration of proceedings), the parties are encouraged to continue trying to reach agreement. If the proceedings continue to trial, the cost for each trial day is $590, plus the cost of legal advice, representation, etc.

    About 95% of parties that commence proceedings for parenting orders end up settling by consent and without trial, so those costs are kept to a relative minimum.
     
  7. sadsack

    sadsack Member

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    Thank you so much for the information. I will follow your suggestion
     

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