Is weekend contact nullified when the non-custodial parent relocates within the same state?

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Shabbadabbadoo

Active Member
25 October 2019
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Hi,
I have consent orders for my 2 young children..... I am the non-custodial parent (I have the kids every second weekend and half of the school) and in the process of relocating from Sydney to a regional city in NSW which is approximately a five hour drive (approximately 400km). The consent orders stipulate the fortnightly weekend contact and state the pickup/drop off point will be the McDonald's that is nearest the halfway point between both our home.
I have requested that my weekend contact be altered to four weekly but currently my ex-partner is declining any weekend contact during school terms after I relocate except where it occurs in Sydney and is insistent upon my providing 2 weeks notice. The consent orders don't have a relocation clause, is my ex partner bound to facilitate the weekend contact despite my relocating?
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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5 hours... She doesn't wanna drive 2.5 hours.
Does she have to comply? YES and NO.
Yes the orders should be complied with. BUT if she doesn't you're gonna have to go back to court.
 

Shabbadabbadoo

Active Member
25 October 2019
7
0
31
Thanks, it's encouraging to hear that she is obligated to comply despite my relocating.
In terms of meeting halfway, I'm actually not hugely fussed.... I would sooner drive further than half way to pick up the kids rather than go to court if it means that things would be more amicable and I'd actually see the kids. My main concern was that she has indicated that she would only facilitate weekend contact if I travel to Sydney and stayed in Sydney with the kids (which is financially impossible), as she feels it's "unreasonable to expect the children to travel in order to spend the weekend with you".
In the event that my relocating nullified the weekend contact I would essentially only see or speak to the kids during school holidays (because my ex hasn't upheld the requirement to facilitate phone contact twice weekly)..... this in effect would mean zero contact with my kids for 10 to 12 weeks at a time which would be heartbreaking for them and me.
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
818
126
2,389
NSW
"unreasonable to expect the children to travel in order to spend the weekend with you"
I don't see any court upholding that argument.

On a lighter note, was that username intentional or did the keyboard buttons get stuck? :eek::mad::confused:
Nice one either way. ;)
 

krylek

Active Member
25 June 2015
10
1
31
Melbourne, Aus
I don’t see a judge ordering the kids to travel five hours, each way to see you every second weekend. It’s not reasonable to expect the mother to spend ten hours travelling 2.5 hours there, 2.5 hours back (times 2!) during the school term. The kids will be exhausted.

You have chosen to move away. It’s been your choice. I agree with the mother, you need to come back to visit with the kids, a reasonable distance. Ten hours driving is ridiculous and deprives the kids of engaging in their regular weekend activities.
 

Shabbadabbadoo

Active Member
25 October 2019
7
0
31
Yes I did make the decision to move away.... A very difficult decision made because I have a stepchild with a significant disability and no family support in Sydney.

As I mentioned in a previous comment, my inclination is to do the greater portion of the travel myself in order to make things more manageable and that it would a weekend every 4 weeks not every second weekend. I'm not unwilling to travel to see my kids, the issue is that I'm not financially able to fund to hotel accommodation in Sydney for myself and the kids once a month (as I don't have family in Sydney) in addition to paying a really significant amount of child support..... It's a situation where the logistical challenges are being used as a means to limit my contact with my kids.
 

krylek

Active Member
25 June 2015
10
1
31
Melbourne, Aus
You made the decision, not the kids. Child support is irrelevant. Maybe you come & stay in an air B&B and not have the kids overnight. But 10 hours travel in a weekend during the school term is insane for the kids to have to do.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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firstly, old mate didnt say he expected the mum to travel every second weekend.. He said once a month. AND child support is relevant. Keep reading. Oh and there are consent orders here. To the letter of the law he can continue with fortnightly and expect mum to meet half way. But he isn't insisting. He is offering a reasonable compromise. MUM meanwhile is stonewalling.

O'l mate's mistake was not negotiating a compromise prior to moving, but that horse has bolted.

Old mate. How much do you earn? Sorry gonna be blunt but I'm going somewhere with this?
Have a read.
2.6.7 Reason 1 - high costs in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, a child | Child Support Guide

MAYBE you can claim the costs involved in travel and accommodation in Sydney against your child support... Now I'm not suggesting this yet... Go make a cuppa, this is gonna require some thinking... So what say you tell the ex you'll do every second weekend, accomodation and all that and while you're there send her the link... So if she wants to insist on this ONLY in sydney rule it is gonna cost her $$$... Make sure you read the bit about. You can even claim a meal allowance...
"How are the costs measured?"
You can even claim a meal allowance... I reckon armed with this reality SHE just might wanna play nice and accept doing a little bit of the drive, not half, nope, maybe 40 min each way once a month is a better option than her losing child support so you can stay in a hotel....
how is you're cuppa?
 
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Shabbadabbadoo

Active Member
25 October 2019
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31
10 hours in a weekend once every 4- 6 weeks is not too much. We would regularly take the kids away for weekends travelling the same distance and it was an enriching, fun family experience. The kids had a great time and made wonderful memories with family and certainly weren't adversely affected in any way.
My ex never took issue with these trips and would herself also take the kids away for weekends driving almost the same hours. I do not believe they were adversely affected by this nor did she.
Thank you for your input.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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Hey old mate. Father's day this year...in the car at 5.30am. Minus 3 degrees outside. No breakfast in bed for this dad... nope 2 hour drive to canberra to watch kids play union at a huge stadium. Same one the brumbies use.
Had to get there 1.5 hours before kick off. 20 minute game. 20 min that is it. My kids got convincingly beaten by a bunch of 10 yr olds that resembled the All Blacks.
2 hour drive home in time for lunch... 4 hours driving before noon. Photo of kids on a field with grandstands etc. Priceless...

Ignore anyone who tells u time with dad doesn't warrant 10 hours once a month.