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How to Obtain Information on a Family Court Decision?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jon1974, 17 March 2016.

  1. Jon1974

    Jon1974 Member

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    hi,

    I am a father of two daughters who live in NSW, with their mother. I myself live in Ireland.

    Since the breakup with my ex partner in mid 2013, my ex-partner went into a path of parental alienation a few months after, when I entered a new relationship. I was prevented by my ex partner in communicating with my daughters, either via email, phone, social media or snail mail. I have not spoken, nor seen my daughters since my ex partner took them to NSW in 2013. (We originally lived on the Gold Coast, QLD. I came back to Ireland and she went to her mother's in NSW).

    About a fortnight ago, I decided to contact my daughters' school and ask them for a progress report on how my daughters were doing at school. I was informed by the school that unless I was able to supply family court documents, they would be unable to assist me. They would not elaborate on what these family court documents were, except to say that without them, I would not be availing of any information concerning my daughters.

    I do have evidence to suggest that my ex-partner had suggested that she would be taking steps to prevent me from seeing my kids if I were to return to Australia. At this time, she started taking counselling sessions as well as putting my youngest daughter into counselling also.

    She also contacted immigration (Australia) and was able to secure Passports for my daughters, without my knowledge or consent. Given all these, I am starting to think that she used all these actions in order to bolster a case against me in a family court, by perhaps suggesting that I was a risk in terms of mental abuse? I have never, ever abused my kids, either physically or mentally, but it would appear that my ex-partner is on a vendetta against me and went to the family court and secured sole custody of children, in my absense and without my knowledge.

    How would I go about confirming this, given that my ex-partner will not communicate with me, the childrens' school will not elaborate on the documents they require, and I have no other relatives or family in Australia I could find out from.

    I believe my ex-partner has done this in order to discourage me from returning to Australia, as I would not be able to see my children if I was to go back, if indeed she has secured custody.

    Thank you for any help that you can provide.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    My guess regarding the school reports is that you're not named on the kids' enrolment, so they can't give out sensitive information about their students without proof you are the child's parent or proof that you share in parental responsibility.

    It would surprise me (and also be very much against the rules of court) if the court has made final orders of any description without first ensuring you've had the opportunity to participate in proceedings. I suggest getting in contact with the Australian Family Law Registry to find out if there are any applications pending in relation to your ex or your children.

    Admittedly, being in Ireland is going to cause issues if parenting matters are afoot. It'll be hard for the court to uphold the presumption of shared parental responsibility in the best interests of the children when a) communication between the parents is acrimonious to non-existent and b) you're living abroad. Obviously, the issue of how often the kids see you will be an issue as well - you'd probably be looking at maybe two holiday periods a year at your expense.

    So I suppose I should ask, what outcome would you be aiming for if parenting matters were under way?
     
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  3. Jon1974

    Jon1974 Member

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    Thank you for your reply, and apologies for my delay in responding. I have since discovered that my ex-partner did indeed make an application to the family court for sole custody, using the reasons that I am not in the country and claiming that I have had no contact with my children (I have sent them gifts, money, etc., but she keeps them from the children).

    Fortunately, the family court refused her application on the grounds that it was not convinced it would be in the best interests of the children. My ex, however, continues to keep the children from contact, given the distance, it is easy for her to do. I am unable to email, phone, etc., as she has taken their phones and monitors their emails.

    In relation to the school, the school was asking me for "court papers" before they could give me any details on my children. They would not elaborate on what the court papers were. I have sought legal advice here in Ireland and I was advised that the children's birth certificates and a copy of a passport with my details would suffice as to my identity and to the parent of the children and this should allow the school to give me the information I require (which is essentially a report on how the children are doing at school).

    The school is now ignoring all my correspondence and I am in a position where I am being deliberately blocked from any information on my children. As to the question asking what I would see as an outcome, I just wanted to get information on my children's schooling.

    If I was able to help my children with various subjects they are studying, I would obviously do it, but both my ex-partner and now the school are complicit in denying me that information. To clarify, my ex-partner will not let me have access to my children at all, either via email, phone, skype or other medium.

    My parents get to talk to my children once a month for 15mins on the condition they are not allowed to mention me to the girls or ask if the girls received any gifts I sent. It is a poor state of affairs and any steps I take to get to speak to my kids will be used by my ex as myself causing the kids emotional distress. (She has done this previously when I sent the children an email). In relation to the school matter, where do I stand now in terms of getting the information I am seeking? Can the school simply choose to ignore me now? What can I do to get the information I am after, given I have offered the childrens birth certificates and my passport as proof of who I am (this has been ignored by the school).

    Thank you for any information you can provide.
     
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