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NT No Family Court Orders - Chances of Seeing Son Again?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jayde22, 12 September 2016.

  1. Jayde22

    Jayde22 Member

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    Hey guys

    Just need some help.

    My ex-partner has our son full time. I have attempted to go down the path of mediation but she never showed up. I now have 4 certificates for her not showing.

    I use to be able to see my son 3 times a week with no hassles. Until she found a new partner, that is, and since then I have had very minimal visits, from them not letting me see him and then abusing me in the front yard to sometimes having a 10 minute visit on their front veranda before getting yelled at to leave.

    I have now moved states for work. Due to her not showing to mediation sessions, nothing is hard evidence or written down and there are no family court orders as to what I can and can't do regarding my son.

    We agreed together that I would get phone calls once a week but this hasn't happened since I moved. All I cop is abuse over the phone instead of getting to speak to my son.

    While we were together, my son started to show symptoms of autism. Not long after we separated, she said she went to the doctors and everything was fine, but now I've only just found out nearly 2 years on that she has just gone to the doctor about this and he has been diagnosed with autism. Is this classed as neglect?

    Do I have any leg to stand on to see my son or have a good chance of getting custody due to her actions?

    Any help would be loads of help!

    Cheers guys
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, first, if you're not seeing your son, you do need to get some orders in place to make that happen. Provided the most recent certificate for mediation remains valid (as in, less than 12 months old), then you can file an initiating application with the Court for parenting orders without needing to try mediation again.

    Your concerns about the delay on the child's diagnosis is not going to constitute neglect, and while most of your complaints about the behaviour of the mother are worrying in that they potentially demonstrate an unwillingness to support and encourage the child's relationship with both parents, the situation probably isn't dire enough to warrant a change in residency at this time. Who knows? Maybe having Court orders will compel your ex to start supporting the child's relationship with you and a change in residency won't ever need to be raised.

    Your main challenge here is that you live interstate. How old is the child?
     
  3. Jayde22

    Jayde22 Member

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    My son is almost 5.

    Yes, the interstate factor is the biggest challenge.

    Thank you for your help. I will have to file with the court to get some ducks in a row.

    Yes, the mother's behaviour towards me over the phone conversation is worrying. My son doesn't even call me dad due to the fact the mother won't encourage it as he calls her new partner dad instead.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Your best bet is if you can move closer to the kid. Then apply for 50/50 time. You're unlikely to get it, but you'll likely get 4-5 nights a fortnight...
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    At five years of age and living interstate, you could probably reasonably aim for one weekend a month (or all long weekends in a school term) and half school holidays (plus phone contact in between) and potentially ask for 50/50 split of travel costs, but the best case scenario is that you move back to where your ex is situated and apply for 50/50.

    Actually getting 50/50 is fairly difficult because generally speaking, anyone who has to have their parenting matter decided by the Court probably can't co-operate enough for 50/50 to work, but provided most of the issues are centred on the conflict between the parents, rather than the treatment of the child by one or the other, then you stand a good chance of getting five or so nights a fortnight, particularly given you were seeing the child three times a week previously.

    Some suggestions for managing this situation in the meantime.

    First, reduce the conflict. You know that when you call, you don't usually get to speak to the child and instead only get abused by the mother, so change tact. Set yourself times and days that you can call to speak to the child, such as Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5:30pm. Text the mother beforehand and check the child is available to talk - 'Hi, I was just wondering if X is available to talk on the phone in the next 10 minutes or so?'. If the mother says no, don't argue. Just say 'No worries, I'll try again on Tuesday.'

    Second, look at organising a weekend to go and spend time with the child. Text the mother and suggest a weekend, ask her if it suits. If she says no, ask if there is one that is more suitable. If she refuses, then just say 'No worries, I'll be visiting [friends/family] on the weekend of the [dates], I'll be in touch to see if I can spend some time with X while I'm visiting.'

    These two things are about establishing a pattern of interest and involvement in the child's life, and if you find yourself blockaded, then it looks worse for her than it does for you.

    Third, contact the child's day care or school directly and ask to receive copies of report cards and the like. It's better to establish yourself as an involved parent, instead of relying on an unreliable ex to fill in the gaps for you.

    Try and keep all contact with your ex in writing, and always, always be civil. Ignore the stuff that's more about her than about the child. Don't pry into her personal life, don't descend into petty squabbles, and don't ever take the bait for an argument. It's really important for your sanity to treat your relationship with your ex like a business relationship - if you wouldn't say it to a client or a colleague, don't say it to your ex.

    In the meantime, consider enrolling in a post-separation parenting course.

    I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep trying to co-parent with your ex. If you always seem to be going the distance, and she's always erecting the obstacles, it will position you much better for getting a decent amount of time with your child through the Court.
     

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