QLD Legal Aid Representation for Uncooperative Mothers?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by JadeGoldCoast, 21 October 2017.

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  1. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Mm, don't pay the phone call much mind. People who call employers trying to trample the reputation of an employee generally looks crazier than the person they're complaining about.
    When's your next hearing?
     
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  2. JadeGoldCoast

    JadeGoldCoast Well-Known Member

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    Yes that's exactly how the hospital took the call, thought it was quite bizarre. We have the first family report tomorrow and then court next Friday 23rd. Nervous about tomorrow but so glad it's finally time for a professional to see us with the child and praying it will result in overnight stays.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do tomorrow, don't rubbish the other party.

    In fact, do the opposite: acknowledge that mum and kiddo have a good relationship, that she's fundamentally a good mother. Dad can cite his concerns about the prescription meds, but it should be with an 'I am a bit concerned because of the time kiddo fractured his skull, but I also appreciate that she's got some medical conditions that need treatment, too' attitude.

    Mum may be a bit nuts, she may cause a lot of drama, but if the kid is happy, clothed and fed, she is fundamentally a good mother, and I can assure you the most common reason people end up on the wrong side of a family report is because they think they can get the writer's sympathy by rubbishing the other parent. It doesn't work like that. All the consultant sees is a parent willing to undermine and discourage the child's relationship with the other parent to anyone who will listen.
     
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  4. JadeGoldCoast

    JadeGoldCoast Well-Known Member

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    Thank you AllForHer. That's along the lines of what we have planned. State we are going through court as we want guaranteed stable access to the child. That the mother is a good mum but that we have some concerns with her facilitating time between the child and paternal grandfather and staying in an abusive relationship last year, and concerned about the lack of communication from the mother since the court process began. And then just hopefully show them that the child has a good relationship with my partner and myself.

    How does the format usually work? Do they just ask us our concerns? Do they question us? Talk to the child? Do they observe? I think that's why we are so nervous as we don't really know what to expect. We are also concerned the mother may have an issue with me being there and might make things difficult for the child if he sees us and wants to sit with us.. but I guess we should just take it as it comes and just be as processional about the process as possible.
     
  5. JadeGoldCoast

    JadeGoldCoast Well-Known Member

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    Just an update... Yesterday we came home very nervous. My partner felt like he was being interrogated. I guess it makes sense that if the mother has made so many allegations of abuse that the father would be questioned on them all, but we weren't really expecting it. He felt like it started off quite accusatory but that the report writer seemed to ease off by the end of the interview.

    My partner was assessed with the child but the mother was not, as my partner had not raised concerns about the mother's parenting. My partner was interviewed alone, as was the mother. We felt this was a positive as we both feel that the maternal grandmother he been interfering/controlling events since my partner applied for court.

    Today we received the report and feel on top of the world! The report writer has recommended that the parties return to the previous arrangement of overnight weekend care (fortnightly Friday pm to Sunday pm), and that the child is likely to benefit from spending regular and frequent time with my partner. It has also been requested that time between the paternal grandfather and child be ceased at interim orders, pending further assessment.

    The mother made it clear in the report that she was aware of the child abuse as the maternal grandmother had informed her of the domestic violence. She informed the reporter that my partner had been 'fed hogwash' by his mother and stated that the maternal grandmother 'does not act in a way in which she believes a victim of family violence usually behaves'.

    The reporter has stated that the mother appears to hold the father to a high standard of parenting, resulting in her experiencing concerns about his parenting over issues that may usually be considered normal.

    She did also mention that given the child's ASD diagnosis, further information may need to be gathered before assessing how the father's application for shared parenting may impact on the child and his needs.

    I feel it is important to mention that the mother was caught recording her interview. The report writer has made it clear that the mother agreed to understand the rules and obligations of the child inclusive conference, including that she was not to record the conference in any manner. She was advised immediately to terminate the recording and was advised that the judge would be made informed of the same.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    That's really great to hear, a recommendation for overnight time means the report writer wasn't persuaded that dad has actually abused the child, so that's very good news. Hopefully, the next hearing will compel mum to reconsider her position very carefully.

    What matters are before the Court at next hearing? Did you file to change the interim orders?
     
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  7. JadeGoldCoast

    JadeGoldCoast Well-Known Member

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    We haven't filed for change of interim orders. We amended the initiating application and have underlined the new final orders and also interim orders my partner would like to request.

    The lady at the court did say my partner could draw attention to them but now i'm wondering if we should apply to change the interim orders to be safe?

    We have requested 4 new interim orders:

    - Communication between parents about child via email. Mother to respond within 7 days
    - Father to be able to attend future medical/specialist appointments with the child and mother
    - Father to be hair follicle tested at the mother's expense
    - Mother be retrained from facilitating time between the child and paternal grandfather

    My partner viewed the mother's medical records again on Friday. The mother has had every test performed on her under the sun it seems. There is also item numbers billed for a mental health treatment plan from 2017 and it looks like 2013. Her medical records also show she has been prescribed antidepressants in 2017. The mother in her report on Thursday informed the writer that she does not have any mental health issues.

    My question is, will someone eventually go through the mother's records and realise she is lying? Is my partner best to stay quiet about it and see how the case unfolds throughout the year? We honestly just want someone to assess the mother and tell us she is not a risk to the child. Her thinking and behaviour is bizarre and hostile and we are concerned for the child but would like the courts to figure it out for themselves.

    Any help on the general steps from now to until the final court hearing would be appreciated.
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Being on anti-depressants isn't a crime... So she has depression and is seeking treatment for it... No problem...

    If you have personal experience that gives reason to think the kids are at risk, raise it.. So my kids always come back from visits with knits... They have come back with school sores and ring worm.... None of this is good obviously, they also tell me they get hit and the eldest daughter tells me she has been slapped in the face...

    There is other stuff, like having to source their own breakfast because mum wont get up.. Sadly, none of this is enough to change the time they spend with the other parent...

    I have final consent orders... You don't. So choose your battles... Don't rubbish the other parent. Not unless you have serious concerns about abuse... Clearly the mum is a nutter, clearly she has mental health issues - but she is getting treatment.... Move on, nothing to see here.
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the above - she may have mental health issues, but she's being treated, isn't she?

    Another way to look at it - why do her mental health issues mean the child should spend more time with dad? What's the correlation? Does it reduce a risk of harm to the child? Wouldn't the risk be the same on any day the child is with mum? And if it was that bad, you'd be seeking residency, wouldn't you?

    Like I said, if kiddo is fed, clothed and sheltered, mum is doing her job, so what difference does a diagnosis for depression make?

    If you genuinely thought she was a risk, you wouldn't need someone to tell she's a risk.

    If you decide to file an application in a case for further interim orders, I would seek the following:

    1. Orders for increasing the child's time with the father to match the recommendations of the family report;
    2. Orders to restrain either parent from bringing the child into contact with the paternal grandfather;
    3. Orders for the father to complete a hair follicle test as requested by the mother, at the mother's expense; and
    4. Orders for the parties to communicate via email and keep each other informed about the child's medical needs, including appointments, conditions and practitioner details.
     
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  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    And... An order stating that neither parent can denigrate the other parent to the child or to any 3rd parties such as employers and that order be extended to include the paternal grandmother.
     
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