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QLD Seek Family Court Hearing for Children to be Heard?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Bookids2, 15 October 2016.

  1. Bookids2

    Bookids2 Member

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    I have full day-to-day care of my 2 children ages 13 and 14 years old. The family court orders state that the father has them every Christmas school holidays. When the kids were younger, they wanted to see him, but now when it comes to having to book the tickets, I have to force them to get on the plane.

    Well, it's that time again and my son who is 14 has phoned his father and told him he doesn't want to go and won't go. My daughter has allegedly told her friends that she is uncomfortable and also scared to go, especially if her brother won't go. If I don't send them, I am in breach of my court order and he has also loudly told the kids, "well, the courts will force you to come because I'm taking your mother back to court."

    This has spiraled my son into complete anger towards his father. Can I seek a family court hearing to have my kids heard in court?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are still required to send the children or you will be in contravention of the orders.

    If you want to change the orders, you need to attend mediation to try and negotiate an agreement, and failing that, you can file an initiating application to have the orders changed, but you will need to show circumstances have changed substantially enough that the existing orders are no longer in the best interests of the kids.

    The kids, being 13 and 14, are old enough to have their views heard by a family report writer and shared with the Court. It is only one of many factors they will consider when determining what's best for the children.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so write back to the ex.

    Tell him you want to organise mediation or find an alternate solution. Inform him that telling the kids that you're gonna wind up in court is not good parenting and tell him that your keen on working with him to sort the situation.

    So how to sort it? find out why the kids don't wanna go and see if those issues cant be fixed. See if you cant get the kids to come up with a solution.

    But I think you should be informing the kids that they will be going to their dads.

    That said - if a kid refuses to get on a plane - you can't sedate them to force them.. Ultimately, if you don't make them go - dad will have to file for court. He might choose not to because the legal advice he is likely to receive will be that he is flogging a dead horse.
     
  4. Bookids2

    Bookids2 Member

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    I have emiled and said just leave the Christmas visit and do the next school break but his reply was, "send or see you in court, and tell the boy if he doesn't want to come, be a man and say it to my face".

    This is a form of threat to my son and also any communication between them makes the father extremely angry, resulting in my son being more angry at him.

    To be honest, I have said you need to court because of the court orders, however, the reply is no and you can't make me go.

    My daughter she just doesn't like the father's anger.

    As a mum, would it be right to bring this to court attention or will that see me as using this as an excuse?
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    To me, it sounds like dad and the child have some difficulties between them, but it's not up to you resolve those. The child is 14, if he is old enough to determine his own care arrangements, then he's old enough to take this up with his father directly. If it doesn't work out, then let dad take you to court, and provided you aren't found to have been encouraging the kids to reject their father, then the kids' views will likely be a significant deciding factor.

    I really implore you to consider the fact that the child is a teenager, and the current situation may simply be dad having rules and boundaries that your son doesn't like. If he comes home complaining about detention because he did the wrong thing, do you tell him he doesn't have to go to school anymore?
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Gonna be a bit crazy here.

    So I reckon my kids will always go see the other parent for the roughly 20% of the year that the court orders provide. Maybe at 17, I'll be good with them saying nope - but they will have to explain themselves to the other parent and at 17, they should have the capacity to explain - part time job/study etc, etc...

    My kids are gonna know - they must go to school. They must go to the dentist. They must say please and thank you and they must go see the other parent and as their primary carer - I'm gonna give them no reason to think that they are entitled to an opinion on the matter...

    Rant over -

    My thoughts - send your kids. Tell them that if they want to be responsible enough to make the call - then they can go and see their dad and politely explain it to him themselves.

    Let's look at this from dad's perspective - he rarely sees his kids - he has court orders that ensure him holiday access. His ex wife is telling him that the kids don't wanna go... Is he entitled to feel a bit like there is a scam going on?
     
  7. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

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    Can you please explain this to my husband's ex-wife? Apparently, they can choose when they speak to him, when they see him and for how long.

    Yet, I'm almost certain she wouldn't tolerate them choosing when and if they spoke to her or went to school for example. It's insane.
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    "Can you please explain this to my husband's ex-wife?"

    No way - I have enough trouble with my own ex-wife...But the original poster has explained the kid has said to dad 'not going', other child says she is scared - but without any evidence of violence / abuse. I reckon the kids should go. Completely different story if there is genuine fear for the safety of the kids..
     
  9. Bookids2

    Bookids2 Member

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    Okay, to put this all into perspective for you, the father has never wanted the day to day bother of the children, has never and I quote never paid a cent towards them from the day they were born, has never ever asked the kids if they are okay or need anything and it states in his orders to ring the kids, and he never does this. He doesn't even call them for birthdays.

    He says, "Oh, I was busy and forgot". And a big note here is that I am the one that pays for their flights to see him as he said he was unemployed and only his wife works and it's not fair for her to pay. And another big note is that he is on Prozac to control his anger. Also, his anger is what intimidates his daughter.

    Yes, the courts viewed our case as the father needing a relationship with his children, but now that the children are older, they see it as, "I don't need a father that only fits us in when it suits".

    And another note: on their last court ordered visit, the children didn't go as he said, "nope, leave it till Christmas as I'm busy with my new job." Well, that's great he has a job, but that meant that the children became unemployed as his children.

    So do you now get the children's perspective on ths? It's not about being 'do as you're told, teenagers.'
     
  10. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Subjectivity and speculation, OP. I'm not doubting that what you say is true, but dad's story is going to be different to your story.

    In any case, nobody here is attacking you.

    Your question was "Do I have to send the kids if they don't want to go to their father's?"

    The most foolproof answer is yes. If you don't, he has grounds to pursue contravention orders.

    However, the children are old enough to have their views heard by the Court, so if you don't send them and he files, he, you and the kids may end up with orders that say the children spend time with him in accordance with their wishes.

    So, it comes down to your own assessment of risk. Do you eliminate risk and do as the orders tell you, or do you contravene and risk further proceedings that might or might not end up in your favour?

    Sammy01's position is that his kids won't be getting a choice about seeing the other parent until the kids are 17 or so, no matter how loud their protest or how nasty the other parent.

    My husband shares the same view - he won't be giving his daughter a choice, either, until she's old enough to discuss it with her mother directly.

    I wouldn't say those views are based on the fact they both have orders to abide by, either, but more because that's what they believe to be right in their roles as parents.

    But it's up to you to decide what's best for your family. I feel you've been provided with the groundwork to make an informed decision. Hope it helps.
     
    Mylife and Bookids2 like this.

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