QLD Less Adversarial at Trial - Am I Making a Mistake?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Dad 2 + 1, 5 August 2019.

  1. Dad 2 + 1

    Dad 2 + 1 Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, thanks to those contributing to this forum. You've been an enormous help as I've read through other people questions and answers.

    I have a trial date coming up in the format of a less adversarial trial. The advice here has helped me come to my decisions on how to approach the Final Hearing.

    The co-parenting relationship has been high conflict and my approach for the past 4 years has effectively been to "grey stone" the mother when she launches highly emotional attacks (Grey-stoning is a technique used when dealing with Narcissists, where you just let the attack fly and not respond). Previously I'd respond to her attacks and try to defend myself but that just seemed to increase the amount of venom (and frequency) of the attacks.

    My ex is trying to reduce my time with the kids and based on her affidavits and annexes, her reasoning for the court to change current orders (Been in place for 5 years) is that I'm such a bad person. This includes things like accusations of me committing fraud - a total lie, me committing domestic violence (she accused me and dropped the TPO when she erred in front of the Magistrate) and accusations that I used prostitutes.

    I've remarried, the children are doing well at school, they have a happy family life when with me (but it's not all theme parts and cute kittens like they are when they are with her) and have a large support network from my family (she has no family close to her).

    In the 11f report suggested no change and left it to the court, but the Family Consultant noted the kids (aged 10 and 8) would like to spend more time with Mum because it's "boring sometimes at dad's place" - and that the mother "acted out aggressively when told she can't interfere with what the kids do when they are with the father".

    My approach has been to be more conciliatory and to repeatedly state I just do what I think is in the best interests of the children, but I don't think subjecting them to more of the mother's anger and hate is good for them.

    In reading through her Affidavits and Annexures I've started to doubt my approach of just going to court and being reasonable and not attacking or responding to her aggression.

    To me, and this is a heartfelt belief, the best we can expect for the kids is for parents to at least be nice to each other even if we don't like each other, talk about what is best for them, and not continue to push the co-parenting relationship to the abyss just to "win the war".

    She wants to:

    - Reduce my time with the kids (currently at 38% - 62% according to the CSA),
    - Dictate where they go to school rather than consult on what's best for the kids
    - Interfere on where I can take them on holidays (only inside the state I reside)
    - Dictate which church I can and can't take the kids to
    - Refuse to try better options for communication (like co-parenting apps instead of TXT, email, phone and screaming out the window when she drops the kids off).

    Am I naive to believe the Judge will see the attack in the courtroom as a negative when my response is genuinely, "The children will do better if they have good relationships with the mother and the father, but increasing their time with her only exposes them to more conflict and reduces the stability they've had for the past 5 years."

    BTW... I have every weekend (3 nights) except 1 weekend a month, and 2 nights during the week they're not with me on the weekend.

    I'm offering:

    - Change to 28-day cycle instead of a monthly cycle, giving her 4 extra weekends on average per year (not reduce their weekends with me by 16)
    - Collaboration on schooling and I cover all the costs
    - Pay her air tickets (as well as the usual itineraries, etc) to come on holidays if she really believes I won't bring the kids back to our city
    - Pay for the collaboration App to improve communication
    - Provide Out of school-hours care instead of the kids walking to and from school alone, and being put in vacation care (which they don't like).

    Am I going to be annihilated by her attacks, and am I being naive in my approach?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Stuff paying her air-tickets, you're not even going overseas.

    I do think the parent that comes across as less adversarial gets a better go at things. Remember, court is about 'best interest of the child' not proving the ex is the bigger twit.
     
    Dad 2 + 1 likes this.
  3. Dad 2 + 1

    Dad 2 + 1 Well-Known Member

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    I was asking to take them overseas and her response was to seek injunctions to stop me from taking them out of the state, and an injunction on the federal police to arrest me if I do take them out of the state.

    I offered all the usual assurances and she just refused, so I've offered to pay for her to come along with me, the kids, my new wife, my step-daughter, my mother, my sister, her son, my brother and his son. She refuses to discuss it.

    It's ridiculous as I am the carer for my old-aged mother and no one else is able to care for her if I was to "escape the country", I have a responsible job and communities and family ties to my home city.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So seek an order permitting travel, stuff taking the ex on a holiday. Do you really wanna sit on the same plane?
     
    GlassHalfFull likes this.
  5. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    Yep I agree with Sammy... Make an application in a case to seek OS travel... If you are not considered a flight risk, the most the court will expect from you is maybe a security bond
     
  6. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    Kind of sounds like you’re making peace offerings, rather than seeking orders that really reflect the kids’ best interests. If trial is imminent, stop seeking orders that basically serve be as olive branches and just seek orders that both parents should follow equally.

    Forget paying for her air fares. Taking mum on those holidays is a recipe for disaster and it hurts their right to have a meaningful relationship with you because mum will be intervening on those opportunities. Instead, seek orders that the parents can travel to Hague countries and that passports are to be held by the court or someone’s lawyer, to be handed to the travelling parent once the other has been given notice and itinerary for the intended travel. No court is going to restrict travel to a state. International, sure, if she can successfully argue you’re a flight risk, but not otherwise.

    Forget your doubts. You are addressing this the right way. It’s not a mud-slinging match.

    Forget paying all costs and organising OSHC for the kids. As far as child-minding goes, it’s mum’s time, mum’s choice, your time, your choice. If there’s too much conflict around money, just go through child support and don’t exchange any other money.

    Why seek a 28-day cycle instead of a two-week cycle? Why not just do the weekend in week one and two nights in week two?
     
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