QLD Interpretation of consent orders - holiday time

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Franz

Member
29 June 2020
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My ex and I lodged consent orders that began in February. It has not been an amicable process.

The orders state:

4. The children are to live with the Mother.

5. Unless otherwise agreed in writing between the Mother and Father, the children are to spend time with the Father as follows;
(a) from 7.30am on Friday until 2.00pm the following Sunday each alternate week;
(b) Notwithstanding Order 4 and 5(a):
(i) the first week of both the June/July and September Gazette Queensland school holidays;
(ii) the first and last week Christmas gazetted Queensland school holidays.

I currently have the children this week for the first week of the holidays. My ex and her solicitor say that I must return the children this Saturday rather than Sunday (even though it would be my alternate weekend) as the term time weekend arrangements are suspended during the holidays. It doesn't state this in the orders and I think the presumption is therefore that I get both the week in the holidays as well as my normal weekend. It's the first time I have been able to have them for an extended time since we split up and I would really like to have until Sunday with them.

I know it's not sensible to fight over a period of less than 24 hours but this will be a recurring thing every holiday. My ex's solicitor simply says that weekend term time is suspended without giving me any reasoning why.

Two questions:
1. Whose interpretation of the consent orders is correct?
2. What action can I take when the orders may be ambiguous?
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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My understanding is that legally, that word notwithstanding in 5(b) basically means that despite 5(a) you are to return the kids at the end of the first week, ie in this case 3/7 I believe.... So legally your ex & solicitor are correct..

Seems a bit miserable .... might have to plan ahead & ask for an extension next time & see if she agrees in writing
 

Franz

Member
29 June 2020
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0
1
My understanding is that legally, that word notwithstanding in 5(b) basically means that despite 5(a) you are to return the kids at the end of the first week, ie in this case 3/7 I believe.... So legally your ex & solicitor are correct..

Seems a bit miserable .... might have to plan ahead & ask for an extension next time & see if she agrees in writing
Thank you for your reply. I had wondered whether the word 'notwithstanding' might be the kicker. Does this mean that if she won't agree to an extension or variation, I won't be able to see them for a 4 week period over the Christmas holidays given I have the first and last week of those holidays?
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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so over christmas you're screwed. Sorry to be blunt
But I reckon you need to return the kids on Sunday at 2pm and the mother needs to return them on Monday - when the holidays start. Gee I hope the orders specify when mum has to return them on the Monday?
what makes you think you need to drop them off on the Saturday?
Would you then have from Monday to Monday?
 
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Franz

Member
29 June 2020
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0
1
Holidays have already started here in Queensland and I was able to pick them up on Saturday. My ex says I have to return them this Saturday instead of Sunday. The orders are silent on drop off and pick up times for the holidays - the only times given are for alternate weekends
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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I had wondered whether the word 'notwithstanding' might be the kicker
Yeah... Maybe an easier way to understand it is this ..... if there is any conflict in dates between your regular visits as per 5(a) & the gazetted school holiday dates that you have kids, then the gazetted dates apply, ie, override 5(a) .... The good part is that 5 allows you flexibility by written agreement..

It may be a case of looking at each years gazetted dates at the beginning of each year, how they may conflict with your 5(a) dates, & if you want an extension, talking with your ex to try to get a written agreement well in advance... That will allow you to make plans for extended time for a trip for eg .... Orders as is seem to really limit your ability to plan a trip any longer than 7 days, even over xmas break so asking for say a two week block in the middle of xmas break in lieu of first & last week every alternate year wouldn't be unreasonable...... Other thing, for the sake of clarity, it would be helpful to have exchange times/days during gazetted holidays
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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Saturday to Saturday is one week.
Some thoughts - you're arguing over 1 day.
Trust me, I get it... The ex could be a human and give a little, after all, she has more time in total. In my experience, ex's aren't human.

Next - Pick your fights, this is a tiny one. Not worth having. See let's think big picture. Start being cool, fight less. It is still early days. I like my thinknig here. I was where you are now... When I stopped fighting her over everything, she started to be a human (kinda). See after about 2 years of constant BS I quit caring. I really did. My mental health improved, she continued to try to provoke me but I didn't fight. After a while she calmed down too AND believe it or not started asking me to look after the kids at times outside the orders.... I know she asked her sister to look after them before she asked me, but her sister had gotten jack of being an oncall baby sitter.

The reason my advice is awsome for you is because, with respect, your orders suck. You're never gonna see your kids at Christmas. Maybe that doesn't matter to you, but that is what the orders say. You don't even get half of the summer break. She is never gonna give additional time 'by agreement' NOT under the current climate. So change the climate, realise it will take her a long time to even realise. Mate the added bonus of my thinking is the kids will thank you for it. My kids worked out that mum was full of hate towards me... Kids love me. of course they do all kids love their parents. So the kids saw me being nice to mum, saw mum yelling at dad. Kids should not be caught up in this s**t. So do it to protect your kids.