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NSW How to Prevent Changes to Family Court Orders?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Bucko, 29 September 2016.

  1. Bucko

    Bucko Member

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    Hi

    I am just going through a separation and have been having so many problems with my ex (too many to list)...

    But I have a specific question...

    The background is that my wife took off with the kids, then spent several months making it difficult for me to see them. We eventually ended up in family court for interim orders (which turned out to be a waste of time for me to be there). I was wanting equal parenting, but ended up with alternate weekends and half holidays + every alt wednesday.

    At the end of the hearing, the magistrate said that he wanted us to agree on the plan for how half the holiday would work out, and if we couldn't agree that he would make a decision. My wife's barrister came to me with a scribbled plan for the holidays. I was feeling really down after how the hearing had gone, so signed it without thinking (stupid - I know... don't judge me!).

    What I had signed stated that holidays start the day *after* school ends, and the holiday ends the sunday *before* the school goes back. At the time I didn't think too much about the consequences of this.

    Anyway, a week later the orders came through but they did not include the agreement on the scribbled paper. I assumed the magistrate had overruled them so didn't think too much of it. However, the next day I had a call from Child Support telling me I had now moved into a lower bracket. I hadn't realised that the holiday time brought my care to 122/365 days.

    The day after that my wife's lawyer sent a letter to the magistrates associate demanding that the slip note be included in the orders. I sent an email to the associate saying I didn't want this to happen, but I have been told that they would have disregarded my email, and I had no reply from them. My lawyer tells me that as I signed the paper I will probably be stuck with it. The issue I have (having now thought it through) is that now I will need to wait until saturday morning to go on holidays, and also those extra nights I have lost will bring my care back under 120 - so back to full child support!

    Can I do anything to prevent them from changing the orders? I saw online something about Family Law Rule 17.02 which said they had to consult me before changing the orders - is this the case because I haven't heard from them yet.

    Would appreciate help on how I can prevent this change from taking place...
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    I think you're screwed...

    But...it is messy. Crazy messy... Is there anything about Easter? Is there anything about who has the first weekend of each school term? See it isn't as easy as doing 4 (nights a fortnight)X 20 (school fortnights) plus what ever the holidays provide.

    So my ex is crazier than yours...Trust me. See my ex agreed to 5 nights a fortnight / half holidays, but I had to drop the kids with her before school. Actually - I had to meet her outside the school the kids walked past her, gave her a kiss and walked into school. But she also wanted to have child support counted in hours per year, not nights, so by seeing her in the morning put the kids into her care and the school time hours were counted as her time.

    Told ya - crazy. Now no matter how I did the math I still wound up at 34%...

    But - every year is different - when Easter falls for example, or if the year starts on a Monday rather than a Thursday, or a leap year... So, in my case, the crazy cats at child support agreed to do the thing in hours - madness. I had 40% based on nights. But when they did the math they were precise, they went through the entire calendar from the time I called them to notify them of the change, not the basic formula I mentioned above.

    So in my case, the orders stipulated that I have the first weekend of every term, that plus that Easter fell inside the school holidays that year and it was a leap year (and I can't help that someone at CSA saw the hours thing as a rort) all contributed to me getting 35%.

    Now there is something else crap that you need to know - 34.99999 gets rounded down to 34% and 64.1% gets rounded up to 65%. Yep I know - I know.

    So maybe if you sit down with a calendar, a calculator and a few Valium, you might find that calling on a Tuesday rather than a Thursday changes the % sufficiently enough.

    Now just checking, do the holidays start on the Saturday and end on the Sunday before school? In my case, the holidays were deemed to start on the Monday and that messed things around heaps too?

    Final thought - it sucks, but you knew that... My kids worked it out pretty quickly. Kids see fair as equal. They blamed mum for not seeing dad much. They also looked forward to dad time and the ex hated it.

    Like you I went from not seeing my kids at all. Guess what - these days they live with me and spend about 20% with mum... Just something for you to give you reason to keep your chin up mate.

    Let us know how you go...
     
  3. Bucko

    Bucko Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I really do appreciate you taking the time. And you are right that your ex sounds even more mad than mine! That said, it's probably only a matter of time before mine latches onto the thing about hours rather than nights…

    I think you are right about me being screwed, but you aren't the first person to say about kids wanting to spend more time with dads, so that is giving me hope. The family court and child support are so 1 sided, that it seems to be bordering on corruption. Had heard all the stories over the years but don't actually believe it until you get caught up in it.

    Will keep you posted…
     

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