VIC Partner's Ex Refusing Mediation - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by stepmum, 20 December 2018.

  1. stepmum

    stepmum Active Member

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    That's all we want is something in writing that gives the kids a bit more stability example. She wanted to have the kids back because she wanted them back and she would tell the kids that daddy won't let them see their mum if we didn't agree to it. They were due to go back to her as normal the next morning. The issue we had was that they didn't want to go back on his night and were upset about it as they really love their dad. My daughter had them that day and they kept saying to her it's Dads night why do we have to go back to mum's.

    Also so we don't get messages the night before drop off saying I won't be home in morning so you will have to take kids to school. This is difficult as we both work and we would just like a bit of notice.

    Yes and easier to get them back if she takes them out of state. Before I came on the scene she would constantly text him to have the kids majority of the time because her words she can't handle them or she wanted to go out and party. she wouldn't even speak to them at all during their time with their dad. It has gotten worse since I came on the scene. I know she is jealous and threatened. we will look into primary care just frightens me that he might lose time with them as she is good at making things up.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So there are two options
    1. Court - If you have concerns she could move away then this is a good option. It also makes it clear when the kids are with you... Courts are likely to order school pick up if you ask.
    2. Just continue to learn to change your attitude. You have 50/50 care and that is a good result. So learn to play the game better... You're gonna have to do this whether or not there are court orders.

    so let me try and help... Read the first line of your last post.... "I honestly think nothing will satisfy her as she feels we are controlling her and that is her biggest issue. Se likes to have all the control."

    So what? Look this isn't legal advice, it is simply dealing with a nutte advice. While you continue to care / worry / think about HER she will be the biggest issue and it will drive you crazy. You have to practice being ambivalent.

    Even after 7 years my ex still sends crazy s**t. Mind bogglingly stupid s**t. Just this week a Christmas card arrived. My partner's name was written on the card but had a cross in red pen through it. The nett impact this has on me, my partner, my blood pressure? zero.... Now no solicitor can help with that stuff... But I reckon court is probably a good idea.... I'm thinking stuff like school holidays , special occasions become a s**t fight every time? So getting court orders locked in might help a bit. But to be honest, even then you'll have issues.

    So even after 7 years, my ex still does crazy s**t. one of her favorites is to keep the kids one day longer than she should. We live 9 hours away and meet half way to do pick up/ drop offs.... She likes to inform me after I have arrived to pick up the kids that she will be a day late. I'm used to it. These days I take an overnight bag just in case... So even with court orders you need to know, she won't change.
     
  3. stepmum

    stepmum Active Member

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    So things have gone from bad to worse. We have started legal proceedings, written affidavits just waiting to finish paperwork to serve her papers. The question I have is without orders and no compromise from the ex what can we do about having to pick up/drop off kids to the ex place. Is there another way? My partner is at his wits end about the children seeing her carry on. This could go on for months depending on when we can get a court date.

    She argues with my partner in front of the children, calls him pathetic and a looser in front of them also. Demands constant contact with her children text and Face time the whole 5 days they are with us. Se tells him this in front of the children knowing he wont say no. She demands that she pick them up when she feels like it being the night before we drop them off to her or she keeps them an extra day and more. This is all done in front of the children. He asks her not to start in front of them but she does not care and states they know more than he thinks.

    We have said we would take them to school on Wednesday morning and pick them up from school on a Friday when his weekend but was told no chance if we change anything he will not see the children.

    Any ideas or advice would be great.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    document everything and suck it up.
    This is gonna get worse before it gets better, she is not gonna like being served with your paperwork once you file it.
    So for the minute, you need to suck it up. Get the paperwork filed with the courts and hold on for a bumpy ride for a while.

    Once you file for court you should get your first mention within 3 months at worst and clearly defined orders should happen on an interim basis soon after. MAYBE the reality of court might be enough to motivate her to pull her head in and maybe even find a compromise.
    OR go back to the first page of this thread and forget court, just organise to pick the kids up from school. Look the reality is that probably wont work because the next day she will be at the school and she will make a scene, if the cops are called it will get messy.

    Just get the court application in. Perhaps the only other possibility is a letter from a solicitor offering her consent orders. A solicitor can write a nice letter that basically threatens court. But failing that, court is the only option
     
  5. stepmum

    stepmum Active Member

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    Thanks Sammy.

    We have sent her proposed consent orders no response except abuse and then another letter from solicitor to give her another chance to negotiate to no avail. She just thinks we are controlling her and bullying her. She won't negotiate anything. Looks like we will have to continue to suck it up. We can handle her abuse it's just having her put the children in that position every time and there is nothing we can do about it except wait for court. The children suffer. Being a single mother myself I just don't understand how a mother could put her children in that position. It is only damaging them.
     
  6. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    We experienced similar behaviours. Some things we did:

    - When we picked the child up, my partner didn’t linger or engage. He said hello to ex, then took the child by the hand and started engaging her in conversation while walking to the car. He ignored ex completely outside of saying hello.

    - When we dropped the child off, we dropped her at the gate and watched while she walked to the door and it was opened.

    - We set our own limits on phone calls. The child only called on certain days between certain times. We told ex those times/days and ignored any subsequent complaints about it. We also disabled facetime on the phone (having ex in our house being shown all of our possessions was very uncomfortable).

    - We stopped relying on ex to inform us about school or other matters and found out that information for ourselves.

    And we did a lot of sucking up until Court. It’s important not to let ex rile things up. Kids need at least one stable parent, and if it can’t be ex, it needs to be your partner.
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    All great advice Tremaine.
    A few other thoughts.
    Be nice in your affidavit. Your job is to prove dad is a good guy who wants time with his kids. NOTHING ELSE. You don't have to prove that the ex is a twit. She will prove that to the magistrate all by herself.
     
  8. stepmum

    stepmum Active Member

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    Hi Tremaine,

    Thanks for some of the ideas. We have disabled the phone so she is unable to text the older one. I will look into Facetime and disabling that. We have asked for notes from the school to be sent to us but this hasn't happened constantly. I will get partner to sort that out again. She used to just put children out the door and not talk to him which was great. Now she is waiting in the doorway and refuses to let children out until she says her piece and gets him to agree to everything she wants. Drop off if she comes outside she would just come to his car and start if she wasn't happy with something. She is out of control.

    In our proposed consent orders we have put down certain times and days for calls and contact. Hoping this will help. We have a separate phone for her now so we do not have our time with the children full of drama.

    What do you say to the children about communication with the other parent when with you? We have told them that if they wish to ring their mother we don't have a problem with it. They may ask to call her 1% of the time they are with us.

    We are told that the children are having anxiety issues about coming to our place now, they feel like they can't ring their mum and a number of other issues. Who knows if they are actually saying theses things. The thing is though we do not want them coming over and us questioning them about these issues. Mum said blah blah oh and mum said this and that. They do not say anything to us and are always happy and content with us. It would feel like we are no better than her interrogating them.

    It is hard to sit back and watch these two sweet children be treated the way they are by their own mother.

    Thank you again for the advice.
     
  9. Jake Matherson

    Jake Matherson Well-Known Member

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    Hey Stepmum,

    Just a few of my thoughts for your consent orders/mediation.

    Your time with the kids should be your time but if they really want to call their mum and it doesn't create additional conflict I think I would let them although I have not been put in this situation.

    You're right in your desire to not question/interrogate the kids about what's going on at the other house. You should probably just continue making the kids feel that if they do wish to talk to you about something important they can and than handle delicate topics such as "mums making me feel anxious about coming over here" with your adult hat on reminding them that they're always welcome to come and go freely and you will do your best to make the time spent together before and after handover run smoothly.

    As a part of my case I took a FREE 6 week parenting course "Parenting Orders Program" offered by Relationships Australia and Uniting Care. The wait time to get in at Uniting care was much shorter.

    As a part of this course you learn about how to communicate with the Ex despite being broken up and they specifically go over things that you described such as arguments at the front door and car window while the kids are around. From what you have written you seem to be on top of it but the Ex might benefit from some education. As I said, what you described was explicitly dealt with in this course.

    Perhaps you could offer in your orders/mediation that you both undertake a parenting course such as the above and if she doesn't agree you and your partner could do it anyway as a gesture of good will. It's easy and you do actually learn a thing or two.
     
  10. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    Mum stopping the kids from leaving unless she’s said her piece is a little more difficult. For now, you may just need to put up with it, but in the orders you are seeking, include a clause about using a communication book or email to discuss parenting matters. When it’s in writing, you can at least limit the kids’ exposure to that conflict. You could also consider an order for changeovers to take place at the local McDonald's. We find things are a lot more tame in a public place than they are at the parents' homes.

    When my partner’s child is with us, we tell her she can call her mum whenever she wants, but we enforce reasonable limitations on the timing and frequency. As an example, if she's in trouble for wrongdoing, she immediately asks to call her mum, and we refuse on those occasions. If she asks when it's unreasonable, we tell her no, she can call later. But otherwise, we just facilitate the two calls a week and that keeps everyone happy.

    On the issue of what's being 'reported' from the other household, I would take it with a grain of salt until the kids' words or actions actually reflect the same thing when in your care, and even then, take them in the context of a parent, not a friend. As an example, ex told my partner that their child was saying she wanted to live with her and only see us when she wanted, and ex was asking my partner to comply. We ignored it, until the child said the same thing to us, and it turned out that the reason she felt that way was because she doesn't like having to do things like hang her towel up or help clean up after dinner at our house, but in the parent context, wanting to avoid responsibility is not really a good enough reason to change the living arrangements, and we explained that to both the child and her mum.

    Jake's advice about the parenting orders program is good, too. We did one of those courses as well, which helped us cope with conflict with greater resilience and stability. Highly recommended.
     
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