LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

QLD School Enrolment with Shared Care - Long story, Short Question.

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by DM9, 17 March 2015.

  1. DM9

    DM9 Member

    Joined:
    17 March 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    My ex and I have shared care of our 13 yo daughter, roughly 55/45. My daughter had been attending a private school we both agreed on for three years. Over the xmas holidays, my ex-wife enrolled my daughter into a state high school 30km away near her work place without telling me. She provided the school with a copy of the parenting orders specifying catholic schooling and filled out my details on the enrolment form. There was no signature.

    The school made no effort to contact me, or the previous school. they did not get a transfer report or document from her previous school. I made the decision to not take it to court so as to keep some semblance of a relationship with my daughter, however I now owe $8000 in school fees because no notice was given of withdrawal from the private school. We had even bought uniforms. etc.

    I'm prepared to wear the crap decision made by a 13 year old with her mother's support and secrecy. I'll work through that one myself with my daughter. I did, however make an official complaint to the Qld education department that my daughter was enrolled without my knowledge or permission when we have court ordered shared care. I asked them to advise me whether the decision was a result of their not following procedures or whether my ex had lied. I intend to use this to seek payment of the Fee penalty if possible.

    I received their response yesterday. It's over the signature of the Qld Education department assistant director for the region. He states plainly that the principal enrolled the child with the permission of one parent under the education act and this over rides any family court orders.

    Is this true? I intend pushing it to the ombudsman, but I sounds ridiculous. That would mean that education orders have absolutely no force in Queensland if one parent decides to send their kid to the local state school.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    Unfortunately, the department is correct - schools only require consent of one parent to enrol students, which I agree is ridiculous, but the law has to also accommodate those parents who don't know who the father is or have no contact with the other parent. Schools also can't be held responsible for enforcing orders.

    What you can do, however, is contest whether or not you foot the bill since this decision was made without your consent or consultation. This won't be the school's responsibility, but more a dispute between you and your ex.

    Perhaps it might be a good idea to bring this to mediation.
     
  3. DM9

    DM9 Member

    Joined:
    17 March 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps it might be a good idea to bring this to mediation....

    Thanks for that. I can't see what good mediation would do when she can legally enrol her anywhere she likes. I'll give the magistrates court a go for the fees from the ex.

    I'll also be asking my lawyer why I paid her to get that part of the orders argued and written. I've been very badly advised on something that's very important to me if this is legal.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    You may be placing the blame on the wrong parties.

    Insofar as parenting orders go, nobody is responsible for upholding it or enforcing it except for you and the mother, unless there are orders contained within that extend powers to the federal police, such as recovery orders or orders placing the child on the airport watch list. This means the Department of Education, the Ombudsman and the Magistrate's Court are not responsible for ensuring the mother follows the orders, but it is instead your responsibility to hold her in contravention if she fails to do so.

    The Magistrate's Court will be of little help - they have no jurisdiction over parenting matters, and while it is cost-related, it remains a family law matter. The Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court of Australia have jurisdiction, but you will be able to apply to neither without first attempting a family dispute resolution conference - or mediation - and attaining a section 60i certificate.

    You would be within your right to dispute the child's enrolment at the school, but you have expressed no intention of doing this, turning instead to the cost impost. Therefore, this is the dispute you would bring to family dispute resolution - who pays the cost of the school. You are not obligated to pay for it outside of child support, especially as you were not consulted in the process. You may be able to reach agreement about who pays for it, since you're not pursuing the dispute of which school the child is enrolled in.
     

Share This Page

Loading...