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VIC Options to Change Parenting Plan?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by yuko, 6 September 2016.

  1. yuko

    yuko Active Member

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    My partner and I have been together for 4 years now. We are living in SA. My partner has an ex-gf and they have two daughters. One is 14 years old and the other is 11 years old. My partner has requested mediation for property settlement and parenting plan but the ex has refused.

    Since late 2011, she started a new relationship with a man, and now they have a 3-year-old kid together. Since they started living together in May 2012, they wanted to have the property share and agreed to do the mediation, finally.

    In Feb 2013, we agreed upon a parental plan and property settlement, and these were documented by a lawyer. Our arrangement is: 3 nights every fortnight with the father (my partner) and the ex-gf as the primary care of the children. It was 65% : 35%.

    We are ok with that arrangement, however, while looking after the children on schooldays is much easier as it is very structured in terms of time schedules than our all holidays and weekend care only, we are seeking the 50 / 50 shared care.

    In our parenting plan, it is stated that if either the parent has a medical condition, the other parent will have the care of children. When both of us were sick and could not look after the kids at once, we asked her to have the children. She refused saying she's already got a plan. Every time she gives birth or before she needs to see a GP or whatever the reason, whenever she asked for care of the kids, we managed the time, picking up and looking after the children.

    She could ask her current partner or her family members, but she asked us first as it is stated on the parenting plan, and then when we asked her to have the kids because of our medical conditions, she refused.

    Then the older daughter has started showing her teenage issues and differences with her mother. They get into an argument and normally, my partner's ex would ask for his help to pick the daughter up and talked to her. But his ex is also tellling the kids that they have a 'bad f**ckhead father' and an 'evil and bad step-mother', etc. She's always manipulating the kids. We have kept ourselves quiet and never spoke ill about her in front of the children. It is not easy, though.

    Recently, the older daughter and her mum (ex) have gotten into more frequent arguments and one night, my partner's ex all of a sudden rang and said to my partner that he has to pick the older daughter up because the daughter is always rude and needs to be educated. We will have her 100% from now on. That was middle of June 2016.

    Quite recently, his ex started saying she wants her daughter back. We are ok with that and we think the children need both parents for sure. However, the daughter still needs to learn respect. So we are still not sure whether is in her best interest to let her go back to her mum's place.

    However, since the middle of the June, since the daughter's mum kicked her daughter out from her place, they haven't seen each other. So we arranged for them to see each other last Saturday for a couple of hours.

    Then on Monday, the daughter went to school as usual, and then she all of a sudden went back to her mum's place. We were worried when she didn't come home from school. My partner rang his ex, but she didn't answer, so we called the younger daughter's phone and found out the older daughter was also at their mum's home. Their mother didn't inform us at all. Again, my partner rang his ex and she just answered for 20 seconds and said "my daughter said you are ok with her coming back to my place" and hung up.

    Th older daughter said she asked my partner to coming to her mum's place on Monday. However if she had asked, either of us would not say 'yes' at this point of the time. We straight knew that this was orchestrated by her mum to get the daughter back.

    Originally, she was the one who cheated and broke the trust, and now she's still the one playing the game to control the situation on her terms. She manipulated the children, taking things as much as she want. We are exhausted with her way of playing the game re; children.

    They have been separated for long enough and she needs to grown up.

    I just wonder, is there any way I can avoid her way playing or disrespect of us re; shared parenting?

    We have a parenting plan but this is not a court order. Is there anyway I can say this is not right?
    We really need to change such an exhausting way to follow the parenting plan. It should be equal rights for both of us.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    A parenting plan is not enforceable at law, however consent orders or a parenting order is. Speak with a lawyer about applying to the family court for orders regarding å parenting plan.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    When did you see daughter last? What exactly are you wanting? What are the current arrangements?
     
  4. yuko

    yuko Active Member

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    Thank you Sophea for your post.

    I understand that the parenting plan has no legal power. We wish we could go to make it clear and fair to the court. One concerning is the cost. We are not able to afford I feel. We manage our living and sending the two daughters to the private since the primary.

    I am applying to the low income assistance to the Centrelink at this moment. Is there any supplemental / assistance for the low income earner for going to the court? If that only the option we can take, we have to represent ourselves. Very appreciate your post.

    Again, thank you.
     
  5. yuko

    yuko Active Member

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    Sammy01, Thank you for your post.

    We saw them four weeks ago. What we want is 50/50 share of parenting. Current arrangement is 35:65 % of the share (we are in 35%). We only have weekend or holidays which needs full day care whereas my partner's ex, she mostly manages weekday: kids are normally at school. She said because of my partner is working, it will be difficult to looking after the kids properly (meals and household works).

    For our point of view, having the kids in weekdays are much structured and able to handle together with my partner and I. The reason my partner's ex resists to disagree with 50/50 is for the family tax benefit money. It should not to be like this.

    My partner has been cheated by his ex, and because of that their relationship had end. He has no trust on her. He is the one who would like to ask compensation to his ex that he cannot see her own daughter's growth everyday basis.

    It should be based on Children's best interest that is having and seeing both of the parents as they want. Younger daughter is often saying that she cannot choose one of the parent to stay because she felt bad if she does and she needs to see both equal amount. She is only 11. I felt for her very much.

    Again Sammy01, thank you.
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So why haven't you seen the kids for 4 weeks? If you have 35% care, then you're entitled to family tax benefit.

    Tell your partner that he needs to contact relationships Australia to organise mediation.

    Look, even court orders are not going to stop the manipulations. But at least you can get something that makes the rules a bit more clear
     
  7. Hoody1080

    Hoody1080 Member

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    Good luck with mediation and a court order!

    In my experience, mediation goes nowhere and when a court order gets put in place, unless the other party will carry that out it's useless.

    I have a court order in place with my ex however she blatantly disregards it (won't let me contact my children and controls when I can see them), I've tried to sort it out between us but it has got to the point where lawyers are involved again. Now we are back to mediation and expensive bills. Why even have a court order in the first place?

    If you have money to throw at the legal system, go ahead.
     
  8. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The above is the experience of one person, not all. I don't see much benefit to telling people "There's no hope!" based solely on your own situation.

    If a party contravenes Court orders, it's up to you to do something about it, and it doesn't have to cost anything beyond the filing fee if you represent yourself.

    Court orders don't stop a person from being crazy, but they do give you the power to minimise the effect that craziness has on your kids. If you choose to ignore that power and do nothing when a party contravenes orders, that's your prerogative. However, please know that it's not because of 'pointless Court orders' that nothing gets done.

    My partner had to take his ex to Court for five separate matters before she finally did away with the craziness, and it barely cost us a dime.
     
  9. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, from my experience / reading, etc. court is a much better option than mediation for a non-primary carer looking for more time when the primary carer is resistant. Don't have to be a genius to work out a magistrate is gonna be more interested in fair than a nasty ex.

    Go to court.
     

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