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NSW Parenting of Children - Communication Rights During Visitation?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Casey Irvine, 16 December 2014.

  1. Casey Irvine

    Casey Irvine Member

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    Hi, My main question is regarding communication during my ex partners longer visitation period. In which once a month he has my 3.5yr old daughter for a visit over 2nights/days at either of his parents homes, which are a minimum of 2hrs away from where I and my daughter are living. He is not willing to make contact with me during this time in order to let me know how she is doing. I am only asking for 3 to 4 points of contact e.g.. let me know they have arrived safe at destination and a pic or text msg during the day to see how she is doing. Nothing too intrusive, but he is not willing to do this without huge resistance and argument. Do I have any legal rights in this situation? Or do i have to be without knowing how my daughter is doing for the entire wknd??
    He has had her mainly under supervision, due to mental health and abuse during our relationship. Though he is now after 3yrs driving her to and from locations on his own and having a once a month 6hr visit with her in our home town, which he can opt to do solo if he so choses. It has been a gradual build up over time as to allowing solo time with her, after valuations have been completed etc etc.
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to be frank, and I apologise if you take offence, but I feel that sometimes, a little harsh perspective can be of use.

    No, you have no legal rights on this front, and additionally, I would strongly suggest keeping this extremely insignificant issue in perspective. You're talking about two days out of every month. Dad frequently goes that long without seeing his daughter, and your daughter goes that long without seeing her dad. You're parents in equal measure, so I would strongly suggest that you learn to accept that your time is your time, and dad's time is dad's time.
     
  3. Casey Irvine

    Casey Irvine Member

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    How extremely offensive and rude of you to talk to me in such a way! You are clearly making all kinds of assumptions with little to no information. He is able to make contact and to ask for pictures or anything he likes whilst she is with me. I have never denied him such access to what is supposedly my time. I don't see it, as my time and his time, she is our daughter and therefore though we have certain allocated times, i believe it is a parents ride to check in on their child. Particularly when a child has to travel distances and is so young. What kind of mother doesn't check her child has arrived at their destination safely? That you believe this is extremely insignificant is appalling to me. I love my child…and it is my job to keep her safe and know how she is every other minute of every other day, that is what society as a whole expects of me is it not? do you really think this is an instinct one can just switch off?? I believe the full time care giver should have the right to know she is safe and happy. As stated above it would not be to a point to intrude in any significant way….it does not have to be more than a quick text. Seriously I do so for him and for any of his extended family who wish to be informed of what she is up to/how she is doing. I see it as a good thing and a sign of caring. What is wrong with the legal system...
    You are not doing any one any favours by speaking in such a way.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I'm speaking to you as I have seen judges speak to parents about the same topic, except the court is far less forgiving of parents who are concerned primarily with their own discomfort and separation anxiety, rather than what's best for the child.

    It doesn't matter what you believe should be your right. Under the Family Law Act 1975, you have no rights whatsoever - only your child does.

    It's clear you don't want legal information, you want emotional support, and that's not what this forum is for.
     
  5. Casey Irvine

    Casey Irvine Member

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    I believe a caring parent should be part of my childs rights! If parents just disappear in these times it is teaching our children they are dispensable. That will lead to all sorts of negative feelings and issues for them as they grow and develop. Surely open communication should be the ultimate goal, in order to create a safe and nurturing environment no matter whom the child is with at the time.
    Clearly the act needs to be updated to consider the effects of a disappearing act once a month on a young child.
    I do not need emotional support…I am quite capable of coping when my child is away. But i am not going to stop caring and making sure she is ok…. otherwise i stop being her mother. I only asked for respect as a parent of a young child.
     
  6. rebeccag

    rebeccag Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Casey Irvine
    I appreciate that it must be emotionally distressing and so I think there's a possibility of misconstruing AllForHer's comment above (especially online!), but they are intended to focus on the legal side of things, rather than being a judgment/attack on you.

    Essentially, the parents need to follow the rules of the visitation - are there specific orders/documents in place that cover that? There seems to be something in place from what you've said above? Your child's father has been trusted to care for your child during those periods, so unless there is evidence that your child is being put in danger/abusive situation when with him, then he is legally not doing anything wrong.

    If there isn't anything specific set out in an order or agreement, then try to continue to negotiate what is a reasonable amount of communication so that your child's interests are taken care of. Different parents work differently, but it might be more likely that he contacts you if anything is the matter during that time, rather than regularly reporting that things are fine.

    Family Relationships Online has some great resources on parenting and separation, children and managing conflict. They have trained mediators and they have a Family Relationship Advice Line that is available to give you information on family relationship issues and advice on parenting arrangements after separation.

    Also have a look at the Family Law Courts page which have some relevant information, like:
     

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