QLD Preparing For Court with documentation

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by KaraEmme, 27 February 2019.

  1. KaraEmme

    KaraEmme Active Member

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    Hi everyone. This is in regards to my partners daughter. She is 2 1/2 and we have been together since she was 3 months old. My partner and the mother were only together for 2 months.

    We have been battling with her over trying to get visitation with my step daughter this entire time. She is hell bent on making this as hard as possible and drags it out. We have only just gotten 1 night per fortnight. Mind you we had to do 6 mediation sessions which all resulted in her screaming and storming out plus go to a lawyer just to get that. When she turns 3 we would love to get a few extra night with her every fortnight. We know the mother will fight us tooth and nail every step of the way. We know that this one will end up in court at the end. Our ultimate goal would be 50/50 when she is at an appropriate age for that to happen.

    We’re wanting to put together a ‘court binder’ where we can document and keep track of everything. Just so all the info is in one place and is organised. What would everyone recommend that we put in there. Give us all the possibilities please!!!!!

    Ps we also have concerns that the mother might be neglecting her ever since she moved her new partner in. She is never in clothes that fit, rarely has shoes on or they are way to small, always has a bulging nappy, teeth are yellowed, always sick, always has head lice, hair is never brushed, always is hungry at drop off, sometimes she isn’t even in clothing ect. Does that sound like neglect or am I overreacting because I’m very conscious of the way my bio son and step daughter goes out in public. I make sure that they are always properly dressed and their hygiene needs are met.
     
  2. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to imagine what a binder would have looked like for us had we kept one for our court matter/s - tens of thousands of text messages, hundreds of e-mails, hours of audio recordings and video footage, tonnes of paperwork from the court, from the day care, from the school, from the doctor...it'd probably be as big as a house!

    ...which is why we only kept an accordian file for court applications, affidavits and annexures. The rest sits on a hard-drive. Our affidavits only ever included facts that could be corroborated with harder, annexed evidence (e.g. an incident that also had associated text messages; a hostile changeover that was later raised in an e-mail with the ex's lawyer; etc.), so keeping all of that together was a lot easier than keeping everything together. My suggestion would be a binder or accordian folder that holds s60I certificates, applications, affidavits, annexures and orders, organised by type (dad's affidavits, mum's affidavits, your affidavits, applications, orders, etc.) and then by date.

    On the neglect allegation, what you've described sounds more like a standard day in the life of parenting a toddler, rather than neglect. For example, my toddler always has one ailment or another because she picks up everything and sundry when she's at day care, but if I didn't treat her or take her to the doctor when she is obviously in need of medical attention, that would be neglect. My partner's ex probably also has a lot to say about what clothes their daughter wears when we drop her off, but unbeknowst to the ex, we send her in old clothes because we don't always see those her clothes returned. That doesn't amount to neglect, though. On top of that, my toddler can fill her nappy in an hour on some days. If I was leaving her sitting in her own feces for so long that she was getting infections and raw rashes, that would be neglect. Don't even get me started on brushing hair - that's often a fight not even worth having with either of the kids in our household! :)

    Try and remember that everyone parents differently, and some parents are far more chill about their kid's appearance and behaviours than others might be (and remember that you're probably going to be more critical of mum because of the history you share around time with the child). Neglect is when the child is actually being harmed by a parent's inaction, like failing to take them to the hospital when they've broken a limb, or not feeding them such that they drop dangerously low in weight or hydration.
     
  3. KaraEmme

    KaraEmme Active Member

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    Thankyou.
    I do see where your coming from with the binder. I may have to rethink this.

    My issue is that her clothing is 2 sizes to small. As in it’s squeezing and leaving marks on her arms. We understand that she doesn’t wanna send nicer clothing but we have brought cheap clothing that FIT her ($2-$3 per item) to send her back in and we always wash and send her clothing back. Her shoes that she comes in are so small her toes are hanging off the front and again are creating marks. She says that she can’t afford to buy her clothing yet we pay a lot in child support and she always has her nails and hair done.
    As for her nappy it can be to the point where it’s leaking through. My son doesn’t get changed through the night because he sleeps through and his nappy never leaks through even after 12 hrs and he is a heavy wetter. Also we find that she has dried poo on her bum. To me is seems like she doesn’t change her before drop off which is at 9am.
    As for her hair she always has head lice and I’m talking riddled with it. We have to treat her hair 3/4 of the weekends she is with us. Her hair always has knots. I brush her hair every morning and every night we have her and she loves the experience. She is not a difficult child be any means about anything. It may not be classed as neglect but to me it’s lazy parenting.
     
  4. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

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    Yep, probably lazy parenting.

    But that's probably about it.

    Dad can raise his concerns in an affidavit, but he should also be looking at parent ways to address the situation, rather than applicant ways to address it.

    For example, with the clothes, I'd keep all the clothes that are too small and just always send her back in your cheapest options that fit. If mum requests the old clothes back, tell her they don't fit the child and she's welcome to keep the clothes you sent to replace them. I know, it sucks, because it's another expense on your shoulders, but kids always need at least one parent willing to put their needs first, and if it's not going to be mum, it needs to be you.

    With the nappy, I would just change her as soon as you pick her up. It may well be the case that mum isn't changing her out of her overnight nappy, but that's speculative, and in any case, not much anyone can do to force her to change her nappy before changeover.

    Headlice, just keep treating it and send mum a polite e-mail every time you do, asking that she complete a follow-up treatment ten days later.

    You're allowed to be critical of mum, but in an affidavit, it alludes to mistrust and denigration, which the court often accepts as an inability to co-parent (and that is sometimes the only reason the court doesn't grant more time to a non-residential parent).
     
  5. KaraEmme

    KaraEmme Active Member

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    Thankyou for all that. I will talk to my partner about it and see what he wants.
     
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