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WA Mediation with Ex Concerning Children's Care Arrangements?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Hoang Trang, 9 October 2016.

  1. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    My ex-wife left our 3-year-old twin children 1 year and 8 months ago. The first 3 months they lived with me 7 nights, then 4 nights and for the the past year now, 5 nights a week. They live with my fiancée and her 7-year-old step who we are primary carers as well. She has been there from day one and has help raise and love my kids like her own. We do not receive any child support from my ex and both work full time to support all 3 kids. They go to pre-kindy two days a week, only for the past 5 months and other days are at home with us.

    My ex for the past year has picked them up on Thursday and drops them off on Saturday at my house. I recently stared mediation as I wanted to change the schedule as kids are going to kindy next year and as I have moved houses, and that is when the whole problem started. I changed to her having them Friday after school till Sunday evening as we want to have the kids during school nights to make sure their schooling is not interrupted. She did not like to this and filled for a recovery order to and take the kids 5 nights.

    I do not want my kids to be dragged through this ordeal and stress them. It's best for them to have a routine and as hard, as it was, decided for them to stay at their mum's until court next month. I find it so hard very day to cope as I miss them so so much and have no seen or spoken to them for a month now.

    Their grandma is very upset and suffering from depression. Please any help guys?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So the kids are now with mum? And have been for a month? Do you have a court application?
     
  3. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    Yes, I have received the recovery order and I filed the response and a case affidavit. I have asked to see my kids in the weekend but she will only allow pick up from daycare. She enrolled them on Friday afternoon and returned back to daycare on Monday morning. But I have my step son who I pick up and drop off to school daily 50 mins from her.

    Also I want to mention I'm happy for her to have kids on school holidays and visit after school, etc. as long as they are home for shower, dinner and homework. All three kids are enrolled into the same school.
     
  4. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    Yes, they have been with their mum for a month and she has blocked my number and we haven't seen and spoken to them. She has no family in Australia where kids have their grandmother, grandfather, etc who miss them dearly.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Are you Chinese? Is she likely to move back to China?

    So you have applied for a recovery order? Or has she? Has the court given any interim orders?
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, an 'every other weekend' or 'every weekend' regime won't be the likely result from Court.

    The Family Law Act 1975 holds that where the presumption of shared parental responsibility is upheld, equal time must be considered by the Court, and if that's not deemed to be in the best interests of the kids, then the Court must consider if 'substantial and significant time' is the next best thing.

    Substantial and significant time is a combination of weekdays, weekends, school holidays and special occasions. Parental involvement in the school/kindy week is considered important for children to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, so if she's only going to have them Friday afternoon until Sunday evening, mum is being left out of the kids' educational practices all together.

    Similarly, it is, in most cases, deemed to be in the child's best interests that changeovers take place at kindy/school. It eliminates the risk of you and mum having an argument in front of the kids, or of one interfering with the other's pick-up practice. It also means both parents have regular contact with the education provider, which benefits both them and the kids.

    Arguing 'routine' on this front is a naive approach; the Court has made it clear in the past that where the respective households can retain the necessary day-to-day practices, like getting the child to and from school, then the child's routine can and should be consistent in both houses, anyway.

    Now, what's the nature of your recent relocation? How far away did you move? If it was a significant distance, did you consult with mum about this?
     
  7. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    No, she is not Chinese but she is Thai. She filed the recovery order even though she had the children on weekends before hand. Our first court hearing is next month and one of her interim orders is to continue having kids two nights a week until I move to my new house.

    She filed the application with ridiculous nonsense that my kids were neglected and she feared for their danger etc. I have their passports when I took kids last year to Bali for 2 weeks and this year to Vietnam for 2 weeks. And I had kids when she went overseas on holidays.
     
  8. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    The reason I chose Friday afternoon pick up from my house is for kids to relax and unwind before going to their mother and Sunday evening drop off for them to settle in before school the next day. But I'm perfectly fine with pick up and drop offs from school.

    I hope that both of us can have a good relationship for sale of our children. The past 5 months, she has not come to pre-kindy and meet any of the staff or enquired about the kids' learning progress, etc.

    I have relocated 20 mins from my old house, which she has always done pick-up and drop-offs the past 1.5 years. I was the one who started mediation to try and work out a parenting plan but she refused after the first session. I want to encourage as much interaction with kids and their mother as long as kids are home on school nights.

    How will court consider my step son? I have enrolled all three kids together in the same school. They absolutely adore each other can not separate them. My step son is finding it hard to not see his brother and sister.
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Although the relationship between the kids is considered, your step-son won't be given a great deal of weight - it's your kids' best interests the Court will be concerned with, first and foremost.

    I am a little confused about one part of this - if the children lived primarily with you for five months, why did mum file a recovery order and not you, particularly since the kids have already been retained in her care?
     
  10. Hoang Trang

    Hoang Trang Active Member

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    After she left, the kids stayed with me every night for 3 months, then 4 nights a week for 5 months and 5 nights a week this pass whole year. We never had any written agreement, it was just a verbal arrangement the whole time. But I initiated mediation 3 months ago to change her to have them on weekends instead, enrolling kids to school and relocating to new house ( 20 mins from previous house).

    She refused all negotiations and that's when the problem started. She was picking up kids Thursday and dropping off on Saturday and this was the schedule she followed for this whole year but then I started to only let her take them Friday until Sunday. She didn't pick up the kids for two weeks and that is when I assumed she filed the recovery order. She then started to pick them up for two weekends then I was issued the recovery order.

    My interim order in my response application is to have kids Returned back to me and continue with me having them 5 nights. If she didn't file the recovery order first then I would of myself.
     

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